The work of a President-Dean, even on an Interim basis, is very stimulating. Your life is embraced by the lives of many others across the nation. Last week, I was privileged to attend the 49th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Jurisdictional BMCR. It was held in Atlanta and attracted people from Virginia on the north, Florida on the south, and Mississippi on the west. The attendees were clergy and laity, working together in the interest of all.
The high points for me were: The Report of the Chairperson, the Reverend Dr Byron Thomas, a gifted preacher who is pastor of the Ben Hill United Methodist Church. He made the theme, “White Racism” , come alive in very graphic ways. Then, there was a panel of three (3) bishops addressing the same topic. Bishop Sue, of North Georgia, was awesome in bringing her entire Extended Cabinet to the session. In all of my years, this was a first. The bishops were faithful in staying on point. The Paine College Concert Choir provided music for the Friday Luncheon and President Jerry Hardee was most eloquent as our speaker.
I was pleased to meet students who are future Gammon students. Presence and interpersonal relationships are pivotal to recruitment. It is my hope to receive an invitation to visit the campus and students at Paine College.
Gammon is moving forward and I am honored to be a part of the team. Pray that we will remain faithful while on the journey of excellence in education and service. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and a great thing to invest in.”
I am consistently impressed with the sensitivity of the National Urban League in articulating the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. There has always been a need for someone to speak on behalf of the masses who are unable to speak for themselves. Due to their absence from the arenas, where decisions are made, they have neither voice nor vote. So, there has to be another John, who declared, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” (John 1:23). Perhaps, the Urban League is the voice of the masses. It is an organization worthy of our prayers and support.
Maybe, you have heard the statement, “God moves in mysterious ways, many wonders to perform.” My life is a testimony to the reality of this popular declaration. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a man who answers to the name Walter. It is the name that I have answered to for a mighty long time. Our first born son answers to the same name as well. Yet, here is a different man with the same name, Walter, and it has been revealed that our philosophy on life is almost identical.
There is more to be told. Watch for the continuation of the story regarding this “Move of God” in the world today.
I can remember the phrase, “and the recollection slowly fades away.” Yet, there are some things that are important to keep stored in our memory banks, because we stand today on the history of years gone by. We navigate through life on the wisdom received, from parents and grandparents, in kindergarten and throughout our academic careers, as well as a result of our life’s many and varied experiences.
It was about twenty (20) years ago that my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through surgery and six (6) weeks of daily radiation treatments. We celebrated the news that the cancer was in remission. Our faith was consistently exercised throughout this ordeal. However, cancer was not through with us, just like Satan, and sixteen (16) years later, a new cancer appeared in the other breast. This time, we went through two (2) surgeries and radiation with another report of, “in remission”. So, again, we celebrate and are grateful. Through it all, we are convinced that God would not put more on us than we can bear. Now, I learned that in Church.
If there has ever been a time when we needed to hold on to our faith, it is right now. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pray for those who are living with the disease, and may God empower someone to make a way for the discovery of a lasting cure.
The events and experiences within the context of American history declare, with a loud voice, the need for a prophetic voice to cry out in the midst of our wandering through this wilderness. We suffer from the lack of sufficient servant leaders with compassion for the masses who are incapable of helping themselves.
It must be said that standing out of respect for the American flag, nor during the singing of the National Anthem deserve the combative demonstrations we experience on a weekly basis. We would be better served if there was regular adherence to the Word of God in Philippians 2:10 (KJV) that says, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” In other words, we ought to be faithful in getting down on both knees in prayer rather than take one knee in protest. Prayer will trump protest every day.
We must feel the pain and agony of our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria brought havoc to this American Island. Whenever a family member suffers, the pain is felt by the total body. Puerto Rico is not just an Island out in the middle of a big ocean, it is a member of our body crying for help. Loving parents are always faithful in responding to the cries of their child. May we never falter in the execution of our moral obligation to the family. Charity begins at home, and then it spreads abroad.
Together, all things are possible.