It’s a Sin Thing, Not a Skin Thing… Thoughts About Trayvon Martin

Derrion Albert.
Martel Barlett.
Luis Garcia.
Cynthia Cole.
Adolfo Guijardo-Soria.
Salvador Sanchez.
Aniya Crockett.

These are just a few of the 74 young people who were murdered in Chicago in the 11 months between September 2009 and August 2010 (more than 78% by gunshot). [Source: www.truestaris.com]

Also in Chicago, more than 530 people under the age of 21 have been killed since 2008 and many more have been shot or have otherwise suffered violence—often at the hands of their peers and particularly in the city’s African-American and Latino communities. Nearly 80 percent of youth homicides occurred in 22 black or Latino communities on the city’s South, Southwest and West sides—even though just one-third of the city’s population resided in those communities. [Source: The Chicago Reporter].

I wonder is God any more angry, hurt, or vengeful when violence against one of His children happens at the hands of someone who looks like them versus someone who doesn’t. I wonder is He any more outraged when someone from the same culture or ethnicity murders an innocent teen versus someone from a different culture or ethnicity.

It’s interesting the things we as Christians have selective outrage about. I know a lot of local outrage was expressed in several cities where it seems like violence has gotten out of control over the past few years. But the national outrage was nowhere close to what it has been for Trayvon. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be there for him, but what about all the other victims who preceded him.

This may not be a popular stance I’m about to present, but the tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the hundreds of other senseless deaths of our youth (and adults) highlight a much deeper and widespread problem than racism or poverty or injustice. It really highlights the sin culture in this country as our core problem. Everything else are just symptoms of this central root.

Our society drinks the blood of excessive violence, sex, and debauchery everyday through personal indulgences, movies, music, TV, and video games, but then we are surprised / shocked / outraged when we see reality perpetuating entertainment perpetuating reality. This sick cycle won’t stop until we stop it!

The root of racism is hatred, which is birthed from sin. Therefore, racism is really a sin thing, much more than it is a skin thing (satan will use any scheme to divide us: racism, sexism, classism, ageism, etc. Don’t get tricked into participating with his schemes). It would then lead to the truth that Christians need to be focused on grace-based solutions, not just race-based solutions. Simply changing laws, rules, and regulations will only produce short-term, peripheral change. Laws may provide a deterrent before and punishment after the fact, but they can’t prevent murder. The only thing that can prevent murder is the love of God, i.e. people who understand how much God loves them, which then compels them to love everyone else no matter what they look like. (oh, and every murder is a “hate crime” if we’re using God’s laws to judge the action versus just our own, but I digress…)

It’s interesting that the Civil Rights movement was led by men and women of God who were looking to transform the soul of America, not just laws and bathroom signs. They understood the spiritual foundation had to precede social action, otherwise social action lacks sustainable change and lasting effectiveness. Jesus came to bring complete heart transformation, not just behavior modification or racial understanding (Galatians 3:26-28).

The Bible clearly spells out for Christians how we can collectively transform the culture into one that is healthy and viable versus broken and hurting. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is speaking to Kingdom citizens, not unbelievers: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

You might read that Scripture and be thinking that we can’t spend all our time praying without going and doing something against oppression or injustice. Well, the beautiful thing about seeking God’s face through prayer is that He reveals His will and provides answers to our problems. He will tell us what we need to do to strategically and systematically change the systems of oppression and injustice. Without His input man-made ideas and solutions will have minimal impact.

Many people are angry at Mr. Zimmerman and want justice served against him. He will have his day in court (before a judge or public opinion). However, God’s judgment starts with the family of God (1 Peter 4:17). And part of His judgment against the church for the condition of this country and the world will be how much we prayed versus how much we protested (or did other things to distract us from the most important things). If you protest more than you pray, your efforts will be limited in the grand scheme of things.

It’s OK to protest, but you better pray in advance, during, and after, so that when the protests are over, people slip back into normalcy, and the media has all gone home (until the next news making event), you will have some divine answers that will transform hearts and minds, not just man-made solutions that have little long-term effect.

I pray for Trayvon’s family that God will bring healing, peace, and restoration.

I pray for all the family’s across this country that have needlessly and senselessly lost a young person.

And I pray for God’s church to wake up the responsibility we have to this country and the world to seek His face for His answers and stop making up our own as we go along.

Thrive on purpose!

Paul Wilson, Jr.

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Fulfill your purpose in the marketplace!

Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

If you are looking for purpose in your life and life in your purpose, this is the perfect book for you. Get your copy today at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

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Georgia Youth Preparing for The MonuMENTAL Experience

I am so excited to be a part of a new group of young community innovators who are making some major things happen in the youth and young adult communities in Georgia and the U.S. This group is called “MobileAyes“, which is a is a collaborative multimedia platform of inspirational content produced to  educate and mobilize youth and young adults for uplifting local community engagement. Our first event is at the end of August, when we will take a group of young people from Atlanta and Savannah to the MLK Memorial celebration August 27-29. Check out the story below of our press conference with the mayor of Savannah, Georgia.

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(Click to watch video)

Local Community Leaders Celebrate & Support Upcoming Youth Journey to Washington DC

Savannah, GA — On Wednesday, July 27th at 1:00 PM, Savannah civic and faith community leaders will gather together at City Hall. The gathering will include a press conference to highlight a planned bus expedition, scheduled for August 27th-29th that will guide youth and young adults on a transformative journey from Savannah to Washington, DC. The trip features the Dedication Ceremony of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on Sunday, August 28th and tours of monuments to the American people and our federal government. This hands-on civic “mobile learning” experience will allow the emerging leaders of Savannah to celebrate with our nation and recognize the powerful legacy of an extraordinary Georgia-born citizen. The youth and young adults on the journey will represent the broad spectrum of our community across interfaith, multicultural and multi-ethnic lines. Our shared stories will lay a solid foundation of friendships to build understanding and a healthy future for the City of Savannah.

Many Savannah-based leaders and organizations have affirmed their presence at the press conference which will include: Office of the Mayor Otis Johnson, Chatham County Commission, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, A. Phillip Ralph Institute, First African Baptist Church, Roman Diocese of Savannah, and many other community representatives.

The Journey to Washington will consist of “mobile” MonuMENTAL interactive learning experience, allowing participants to engage the legacy, history and accomplishments of the American Civil Rights Movement. In addition, youth will create conversations that capture key issues impacting the development of youth and young adults within our community (jobs, entrepreneurship, knowledge economy, education, community health & wellness, and technology) as we begin to craft a comprehensive vision for responsible progress.

Additional details about the upcoming youth and young adults journey will be provided during the press conference by trip organizers YouthUniverse and The H.O.P.E. Institute.

For more information or to schedule interviews about the MonuMENTAL Experience, visit www.mobileayes.com or contact Mr. Dwayne Marshall at (678) 576-4834 or via email at dwayne.a.marshall@gmail.com.

“This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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6 More Ideas for Your Church to Economically Empower Your Congregation and Community

Last week I wrote a post “7 Great Ideas for Your Church to Economically Empower Your Congregation and Community” The key thing to remember about all these ideas is that the pastor doesn’t have to do them all or lead every effort. It’s time to strategically engage the businesspeople and professionals in your church who would be more than happy to share their expertise with their fellow church members and the community.

Here are 6 more ideas…

  1. Conduct job search/career development workshops facilitated by HR experts from the church
  2. Connect with multiple churches to host a job fair
  3. Develop a listing of members with their trade/skill and publish a directory
  4. Generate revenue for a career services program by selling ads to the business owners (see #3)
  5. Faith-based business workshops
  6. Invite speakers from local jobs-related programs

What has your church done to help to economically empower your congregation and community?


If you weren’t aware 3hrive Marketplace Ministry provides these types of services for churches. 3hrive Marketplace Ministry equips Christian catalysts to find and fulfill their calling in the marketplace as an employee or entrepreneur, using practical tools built on biblical principles. We work with individuals, churches, and community groups to facilitate workshops and programs that inspire and equip people to activate their gifts, find their niche, and build God’s Kingdom through business and community-based ventures. Learn more at www.3hrive.com. Contact me today to learn more about how 3hrive can help your congregation and community thrive in the workplace.

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Fulfill your purpose in 3D!

Are you aware that up to 97% of Christians surveyed disclose that they don’t hear sermons or messages that specifically connect their work life to their spiritual life? Are you one of them? If so, Dream B.I.G. in 3D will be the missing link for you to activate your gifts, find your niche, and fulfill God’s calling for you in the workplace.

This highly regarded book is a powerful tool to help you align your purpose, passions and professional skills. Learn more at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

7 Great Ideas for Your Church to Economically Empower Your Congregation and Community

A few weeks ago I posted an article Has the Church Done Enough to Respond to the Recession?This was partly inspired by my own perceived notions and research by Barna Group, which reveals the church is falling short in in terms of providing proactive support to the economic crisis for their members or communities. Some of this is due to the financial pain churches are feeling. Some of it in my opinion is that pastors and church leaders may not be aware of many of the practical things they can do – separate from just giving money – to those who are hurting financially.

When I posted that question on LinkedIn and 48Days.net forums I got some great feedback. Here are a few ideas your church can use to provide assistance and direction to your congregation and communities who are experiencing some severe economic pains…

  1. Host Financial Peace classes
  2. 1-on-1 financial counseling for families
  3. 1-on-1 business coaching for entrepreneurs
  4. Monthly e-newsletter from the church with financial tips
  5. Marketplace-themed messages
  6. Host a budgeting workshop
  7. Create space for a barter system/network for goods and services

Update: See also 6 More Ideas for Your Church to Economically Empower Your Congregation and Community

What are some other ways churches can help to economically empower congregations and communications?



If you weren’t aware 3hrive Marketplace Ministry provides these types of services for churches. 3hrive Marketplace Ministry equips Christian catalysts to find and fulfill their calling in the marketplace as an employee or entrepreneur, using practical tools built on biblical principles. We work with individuals, churches, and community groups to facilitate workshops and programs that inspire and equip people to activate their gifts, find their niche, and build God’s Kingdom through business and community-based ventures. Learn more at www.3hrive.com. Contact me today to learn more about how 3hrive can help your congregation and community thrive in the workplace.

*******************

Fulfill your purpose in 3D!

Are you aware that up to 97% of Christians surveyed disclose that they don’t hear sermons or messages that specifically connect their work life to their spiritual life? Are you one of them? If so, Dream B.I.G. in 3D will be the missing link for you to activate your gifts, find your niche, and fulfill God’s calling for you in the workplace.

This highly regarded book is a powerful tool to help you align your purpose, passions and professional skills. Learn more at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

Is Your Team Working For You?

If you are remotely interested in what’s been happening in the NBA over the past few days – or you have heard anything about a certain player with the initials LBJ – you are keenly aware that several teams are courting him to be their “savior”, hoping he will take them to the promise land of the championship. As hard as it might be for his new team’s fans to accept, it is not a foregone conclusion they will automatically win a championship trophy because he’s there.

Why? Because one superstar doesn’t make an entire team. A few good players with team chemistry will usually beat a team with a superstar (or even a few of them) that doesn’t have players who work well together. Coaches at every level will tell you that no matter how many great players you have, it’s team chemistry that makes the team successful.

Team chemistry is essentially everyone committing to a mutual goal, working hard together, getting along, and being willing to sacrifice their own glory for the benefit of the team. Team chemistry comes down to getting the job done while not caring who gets the credit when the team wins and accepting accountability when it loses.

Oversized egos have destroyed many teams, not just in sports, but also in businesses, churches, education, non-profits and community groups. Just because you hang around the same people all the time doesn’t make you a team. Don’t let your team be the next victim.

Looking for team building resources for your church, business, or other organization? Let’s talk. I have leadership and team development resources that would be great for your organization.

How is your current team working for you? What challenges do you have? How are you working through them?

Live B.I.G.!
Paul Wilson, Jr.

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Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

If you are looking for purpose in your life and life in your purpose, this is the perfect book for you. Get your copy today at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

The Beloved Community by Patrice Tsague

by Patrice Tsague

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” Acts 4:32

How would you like to be a part of a community where in spite of external persecution, trials and tests, everyone is in one accord with complete integrity, trust and transparency? A community where out of the surplus of trade, the needs of the suffering and vulnerable are met so that essentially none suffers any lack of material provision?  This type of community sounds unreal and even impossible to achieve – but not only is it real but very possible.  This type of community did exist within the original Christian community; it was how the church began.  It was a beloved community led by compassionate and just leadership.  It was a community that adhered to the doctrines of scriptures.  It was a community that grew in spite of persecution. It had a stable micro economy that self corrected when there was any internal economic issues because it had a clear mission and vision.

So what happened to that beloved community?  How did we get so far from where we started? Unfortunately, today’s Christians have a reputation for being the poor and needy in society.  Even the word “Christian” doesn’t equate with integrity anymore since Christian’s cheat, lie and steal just like the rest of the world.  Unity among us is a slogan, and prosperity is a catch phrase for church growth but has nothing to do with empowering individuals.  Stewardship is a gimmick used to increase giving within a local assembly rather than a way to better care for all that God has entrusted us.  Individuals give not with a pure heart but as a way to manipulate God into blessing them.  As a result, the harsh reality we face is that Christians would rather not do business with other Christians because of perceived mediocre products and services. Also, Christian consumers conclude that being a Christian business means giving discounts and free services to all who call on the name of Jesus.  This creates a spirit of entitlement that calls for everything Christian to be free or at a reduced cost.

If we, the disciples of Jesus, are to fulfill the mandate of the great commission, we must renew our commitment to restoring that beloved community. What is a beloved community? It is a redemptive network that unashamedly recognizes Jesus Christ as Lord; adheres to the bible as its governing principles and is committed to establishing the kingdom of God within a micro level that will be so powerful and be such a light that it will influence the macro economy towards a more righteous system of Government and commerce. It is a community that is in the world but not of it. It is a redemptive network that is self sufficient, sustainable, and profitable. A community that is uncompromising in its principles but compassionate in its approach, a community that is the envy of the world. How do we build this community?  There are seven key guiding principles and concepts that are essential to establishing a beloved community:

  1. There is one Lord, one Savior, one King, Jesus Christ – Acts 2:36
  2. The bible is the basis for all activities with clear rules of engagement – Acts 2:42, Acts 5:1-11
  3. Leadership is called and is held accountable – Acts 1:15-26
  4. The Holy Spirit is active and alive – Acts 2:1-4
  5. We are all stewards – Acts 4:32
  6. Individuals and industries are profitable – Acts 4:34-37
  7. We have compassion for the needy and the lost – Acts 3

Are you a part of a beloved community?  Let us each commit to joining with others to build these communities throughout the world, beginning with our homes and our churches.  Imagine a network of beloved communities throughout the world that is lighting up the world and restoring flavor in a rotten world to ensure that God’s redemptive purpose for the world is accomplished.

Through Biblical Entrepreneurship we are committed not just to build kingdom businesses, but to create a community of kingdom business stewards who provide God-honoring services and products in a God-honoring way and are contributing to the fulfillment of the Great Commission.  This is our contribution towards the building of the beloved community.  We can build kingdom businesses – but unless they become a part of a community whose purpose is to fulfill the mandate of Christ, we have failed in our mission.  Join us as we attempt to build that which is impossible without Christ – let us build the beloved community as we wait for Jesus to come. Come soon, Lord Jesus, come.

Copyright © 2010 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

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Patrice Tsague, a gifted speaker, author, and entrepreneurship coach, is the Chief Servant Officer of Nehemiah Project International Ministries (NPIM). He thrives on equipping and empowering Christians to take dominion and fulfill God’s plan for their lives through biblically based, entrepreneurial training. NPIM offers a proprietary certificate business discipleship course called the “Biblical Entrepreneurship Certificate Program”. The program provides a strong mix of core business concepts and biblical principles. Some of the courses offered include Principles of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE I), Practices of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE II), and Planning a Kingdom Business (BE III). To learn more about how NPIM launches entrepreneurs into their God-designed destiny, please visit www.nehemiahproject.org.

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Gain powerful and practical insights from dynamic leaders, catalysts, and influencers who are making theirs and others dreams come true!

Learn more about the Dream B.I.G in 3D Leaders Symposium on June 19, 2010For more details please visit www.PaulWilsonJr.com


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Dreaming B.I.G. with Boys Who D.A.R.E.

I am extremely excited about participating in tomorrow’s B.I.G. Fall Literacy Festival with Paramind Publications and Boys Who D.A.R.E., an  incredible organization focused on improving literacy in boys age 5-17. This event is geared to help our next generation to Dream, Achieve, Read and Empower themselves to live Bold, Innovative, God-Inspired lives!

Also, when you purchase a copy of my book, Dream B.I.G. in 3D!, a portion of the proceeds will go to fund Boys Who D.A.R.E. initiatives.

So come join us tomorrow for a great cause and a great time! Check out the details below…

DARE TO DREAM BIG EVENT FLYER2

Dream B.I.G.,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Transform your dream from an idea into a purposeful, passionate, & prosperous life! www.DreamBIGin3D.com

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Thriving Pioneers of Change

“Super Thrive Week” Series

Whenever there are major cultural shifts in our society, there are always pioneering change agents who lead the charge. Athletes – some voluntarily and some involuntarily – have been at the forefront of the major changes in the United States when it comes to race relations. 

While it’s true that some of these athletes gravitated to more of an activist role as their fame increased, others were reluctantly pushed to the forefront because of their success in their field of play. In both cases their influence was initiated by the fact that they excelled at their specialty. This video chronicles some of the most influential athletes and major sports events over the past 75 years that have had an impact outside of sports.

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Jeremy Schaap: The Final Hurdle – ESPN“, posted with vodpod

 

Becoming a pioneer of change does not always require you to step outside of your area of expertise or circle of influence. Although you may not be an athlete, when you excel at what you do, you will often be given a platform to influence change. In your field of play – where you live, work, play, and worship – opportunities exist for you to make a difference with your talents, resources, and relationships.

The question for you is: Are you willing to be a pioneer to champion change even if you don’t see the end results or get to experience the benefits of your efforts?

Well, whether you want it or not, your opportunity might be right around the corner. Get ready. Become the expert at what you do. Don’t miss your chance to make a difference.

Thrive on Purpose,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

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Are you an OA?

Follow my conversations on twitter.com/pwilsonjr

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Be the Dream… Be the Change!

A few days ago I was coming down the stairs very early in the morning. It was pitch black except for this strange green glow over in the corner. Initially I didn’t know what it was, but I then realized it was a little green light coming from my Blackberry that was plugged into the wall. As I got closer to it I was thinking, “That light is really bright.” I turned the lights on and walked closer to the phone. At that point the light didn’t seem so bright.

It made me think that a light is really bright when everything around it is completely dark. However, it doesn’t seem so bright when the lights are on. So what does that say about how and where we apply our lives? If we only hang around other “lights” (those with ideas, talents, and resources to make a difference), then our light isn’t having much of an impact. However, if we spend our time in areas and situations of darkness our light can shine very brightly.

The question is do you look for opportunities to shine in complete darkness, so that everyone around you would see your light and be drawn to and influenced by you? With the stock market, to get the greatest return on your investment, you are supposed to “buy high and sell low”. Likewise, you will reap the greatest return on your life investments – time, talents, and resources – when you invest in other people who may be at the lowest point of their lives.

Martin Luther King, probably the individual whom the word dream is most ascribed to, made a powerful statement, when he said:martin-barack-crop

“The gospel at its best deals with the whole man, not only with his soul but also his body, not only his spiritual well-being but also his material well-being. A religion that professes a concern for the souls of men and is not equally concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.”

King’s dream wasn’t just about racial reconciliation. It was about love in action (what really is love absent from action?). President Obama’s vision for America is not just about a superficial “change” that doesn’t require you to participate or do anything different. His vision is for everyone together to shoulder the responsibility and accountability for “remaking America.” That means you and I getting involved in other people’s lives.

The hurting, hopeless, disregarded, and disenfranchised – especially our youth – need an investment of your time, talents, resources, ideas, and energy. They need to experience our dreams in action. They need the opportunity to work side by side with us. They need to learn from our mistakes. They need to see up close our successes and failures. They need intelligent solutions not just complaining and rehashing of old problems. They may need a pat on the back or a kick in the aspirations, but they still need us.

In essence, they need to experience love in action. That’s the true fulfillment of King’s dream.

Don’t wait for someone else to start the change. You can be the change catalyst in your family, church, community, city, nation, and world. I encourage you today to be the light in someone else’s darkness (Matthew 5:14-16).

Thrive on Purpose,

Paul Wilson, Jr.

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Are you an OA?

Follow my conversations on twitter.com/pwilsonjr

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What’s Next?

Now that the “change” President is in office, the real question is what’s next for you? One can so easily get swept up in all the hoopla that surrounds Barack Obama and the hope that he’s going to somehow transform our country. The fact is he can’t do it alone. Each of us has a significant role to play to see our country, economy, and generation transformed for the better. Although the inauguration is over, the work is just beginning. So, here are a few questions for you to ponder:

  • What are you specific short and long-term life plans?
  • What cause(s) are you so passionate about that you’re willing to be inconvenienced to see change happen?
  • How will you leverage your influence to impact this and the next generation?
  • What changes are you going to implement that will have a positive impact on your circle of influence?
  • Who are you going to reach out to that you were reluctant to before?
  • When are you going to move forward in those areas where you’ve been holding back?
  • How are you going to maximize your talents, resources, and opportunities to make a difference?

Don’t miss your opportunity to seize this momentum in history to do something bigger, better, and bolder with you life.

Thrive on Purpose,

Paul Wilson, Jr.

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Are you an OA?

Follow my conversations on twitter.com/pwilsonjr

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