“I decided I wanted to be a lawyer when I was 11 years of age.”
Johnnie Cochran was the most famous trial attorney of the 20th century, he
was born on October 2, 1937 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Many readers may question my statement about Johnnie Cochran being the most famous trial attorney of the 20th century. The O.J. Simpson trial was not only the most watched trial in American history, it also showcased one of the most brilliant legal minds that ever entered a courtroom.
After the O.J. trial Johnnie Cochran became the go-to lawyer for A-list celebrities.Early on in his career as a trial attorney Johnnie Cochran had solidly established a reputation in the black community and it was during the 1970’s he took on a number of high-profile cases that dealt with police brutality.
One of the most remarkable actions taken by Johnnie Cochran is when he arranged a meeting with the owners of the NFL teams and in that meeting he strongly encouraged the owners to hire black head coaches. He smiled as he let them know he was willing to file a class action lawsuit if they did not take action.
They began to hire black head coaches in the National Football League!
In the movie LETHAL WEAPON 4 Chris Rock plays a hard boiled trash talking detective and after he arrest a bad guy, he warns him:
“YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO A LAWYER, IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD ONE, WE’LL PROVIDE YOU WITH ONE, BUT IF YOU GET JOHNNIE COCHRAN, I’LL KILL YA!”
Yes friends, no American lawyer has been so worshiped as the great Johnnie Cochran. Johnnie Cochran died on March 29th 2005 from a brain tumor, he was 67-years old.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”–John 4:11
I began my walk with Jesus in 1996 and in 1997 I found myself doing a four-year minister apprenticeship at the Maryland State Penitentiary in Baltimore, Maryland. From all of my many experiences working in various prisons I discovered that there is a greater and much deeper need for agape love among the prison population. These are men who have been shunned and abandoned by their family and society as a whole. Working in a prison environment a preacher, minister, must dig deeper and give so much more of themselves because the pain of many of these men is an inexplicable pain and hopelessness that cannot be weighed.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ, peace and blessings to you all. Today, is the Sabbath Day and I feel blessed beyond measure this afternoon and my hope is that each of you feel blessed too. God loves us!
The Good Samaritan is my favorite story of the Bible because it can apply to the here and now, somewhere there is a man or woman walking in the light of Christ. Today, I would like to tell the true story of such a man; his name is Julio Dias, a special man of God. His profession was that of social worker and one cold winter evening as he was walking to his favorite eatery in New York City a young man walked up to him with a knife and demanded that Mr. Dias turn over his wallet and money. It was a bitterly cold evening and without objection or rancor Julio Dias gave the teenager his wallet and all the cash he had on him. The young mugger walked away counting the money from his victim’s wallet when he heard Julio Dias call out to him. The young mugger was taken aback, he turned around and walked back to the man he had just robbed. Julio Dias took off his winter coat and he gave it to the teenager. The young man was in a state of total disbelief and once he composed himself he asked:
“Why would you offer me your coat after I just robbed you?”
Mr. Dias replied:
“If you are willing to risk your life for a few dollars, I guess you really need the money and I see you don’t even have a winter coat. At least you can be warm.”
The boy smiled.
A serious conversation began between the boy and Mr. Dias and soon respect and human decency took hold of the young teenager. Julio Dias asked the boy if he was hungry and invited the boy to come have dinner with him. The boy accepted the invitation.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” –John 4:11
Julio Dias and the boy talked and laughed over dinner and it turned into a wonderful supper on a cold winter night. Soon a waiter came to the table and he gave the bill to Mr. Julio Dias; Mr. Dias began to laugh. The boy was befuddled. Julio Dias had to remind the boy he had no money to pay for the dinner. The boy quickly gave back Mr. Dias wallet with all the money he had stolen. Mr. Dias became serious and he searched the innocent eyes of this 14-year old boy and then he spoke to the boy with a warm and loving tone.
“Here’s twenty dollars, but you have to give me that knife. You are so much better than this and I’m going to help you. Your life is better than trying to rob someone.”
The boy gave Mr. Dias the knife and there was born a friendship; the boy and Mr. Dias left the restaurant together in peace and respect for each other. The good work displayed here by Julio Dias is the light and work that Jesus tells us we should walk in.
In closing, we can all be points of light and grace when we lean into each other with the love of Christ.
“I declare, unequivocally and undeniably, that I am my brother’s keeper; that which affects one of us, affects all of us. We are inextricably connected.”
Reverend John H. Moore
The Bible tells us the story of Cain and Abel; “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, that Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and slew him. And the Lord said to Cain, “Where is thy brother?”
Cain replied, “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” –Genesis 4:8
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, peace and blessings to you all. In the last few days I have had a serious conversation with the great Twitter-Pastor-Reverend John H. Moore and we talked about being our brother’s and our sister’s keeper. Two days I reflected on this concept of empathy and I did wonder is this idea so difficult to understand? These last five years I have embraced this beautiful thing called empathy; empathy for those in distress that I have the power to help. Each morning that God blesses me with the breathe of life I remind myself that my ambition is to walk in the light of Christ and so doing I must be, my brothers keeper. So many claim to love Jesus and to know Him yet they watch a homeless sister rummaging through a garbage can looking for something to eat. They do nothing. James Baldwin said,
“I can’t believe what you say because I see what you do.”
Where is your empathy brother? Those without empathy do not know the love of Jesus. A man, a young man stands at the front door of Walmart asking for change to get something to eat. His clothes are filthy, his hands are caked with dirt, his shoes are thin bare to the sole.
What do you do? Is the distress of this young man somebody else’s problem? Do you walk in the light of Christ? Are you, your brother’s keeper?
I saw a man in great distress, you saw him too! This man was on the ground face down and a policeman had his knee on the neck of my brother and we watched from afar helplessly as the breathe of life was choked out of him. There were many people who stood only a few feet away from George Floyd as his life was being taken from him. Everybody there had a cell phone, all the men there had a cell phone, yet none of them filmed the crime as it was happening. Thank God for this girl, Oh God! This seventeen-year old girl named Danella Frazier, this courageous girl took out her cell phone and she recorded the killer from the start to the finish even though she had been warned to stop filming the killer-Derek Chauvin, she would not stop filming. She did not falter, she did not back down, she did not back away, instead she leaned into her brother in distress. Her spirit proclaimed to all the world:
I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER!
I feel so sorry for those men who did not pull out their cell phones, they did NOT lean into our brother faced down on the ground; no they stood there like helpless children. In my mind, they failed the test of being a man.
“A man who does not have something for which he is willing to die is not fit to live.”–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Darnella Frazier like the noble Rosa Parks has been placed into the history books for all time. This girl, this fearless girl, this empath of spirit now only eighteen-years old has a Pulitzer Prize for being her brother’s keeper.
I tell you the truth, God watches everything we do, He watches how we treat each other and God rewards us accordingly. Darnella Frazier is an inspiration to me from now until the end of days. She best exemplifies the ever present question:
AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?
Let’s lean into each other with the love of Christ.
“Tammie is my bliss. I can and have told her all my everything’s. She’s the guardian of all my truths. To say I love her is a disservice to how high I hold her in my heart.” –Mrs. Brewer
Tammie Creed is someone I follow on Twitter and she is really a seriously fascinating woman. Her post on Twitter are bold, smart, creative and her quick wit has no equal. I have interviewed Tammie Creed twice and I am still astonished by her genius. During my very first interview with Tammie I asked her a very puzzling question that no one has ever been able to answer.
The question was:
“Why is the word abbreviation such a long word?”
“To remind us how nice short cuts are.”
This woman blew my mind!
Tammie Creed has all the traits and signs of the Indigo Child, some may ask, what is an Indigo Child? Indigo Children are highly intelligent children who are believed to possess special, unusual supernatural traits and abilities. They all possess an enormous capacity for empathy. Tammie Creed has all the traits and then some, because she has a strong intuition, high self value, questions authority, creative mind, change maker, loyal beyond measure to her friends, headstrong and highly spiritual-empath.
These are all the personality traits of an Indigo Child, Native Americans would simply call Tammie Creed a Star Child.
Tammie Creed is perhaps my most cherished inspiration her mind is so sharp and creative and I often lift ideas from her for many of my essays and other writings. Tammie is also my great benefactor here on Twitter as she made a call to action on my behalf and I received over 300 new followers in less than a month.
Tammie Creed is a friend that is a wonderful gift, that we give ourselves.
“Tammie is simply the Best! Beauty, Fire and intelligence!” –Kevin Todd Porter
“Tammie’s friendship, loyalty, and love are among the most beautiful gifts Twitterverse has given me.” –Marianne Smith
I must acknowledge my dear friend Tammie Creed for introducing me to this remarkable woman Kimberly Craig. Tammie Creed wherever you are, please accept my enormous gratitude for sharing this wonderful gift of a friend.
I have been following Kimberly Craig on Twitter for more than a year now and I find myself going to her Twitter page first thing in the morning to pick up some wonderful motivational message. The messages Kimberly provides each day are so refreshing and makes you think how happy it is to be alive in this moment on this day. I think Kimberly is truly one of the most fascinating points of light on Twitter, this is why I had to ask her to do this interview with me.
You can follow Kimberly on Twitter
Good afternoon, Kimberly, and thank you for granting me this interview today.
Q.) Where were you on 9/11?
A.) When the unfathomable tragedy of 9/11 began to unfold I was at my doctor’s office for a yearly checkup. The doctor’s along with the staff and patients stood frozen and numb around several TV’s in the office. Like everyone, the evil and devastation of that day will forever be seared into my heart and mind. And with the 9/11 anniversary only a few days away, my heart goes out to the first responders as well as family and friends who lost loved ones. May their memories forever serve as blessings.
Q.) When you find yourself struggling, is there a go-to quote that lifts your spirits?
A.) Actually there are several things that bring comfort depending on the struggle. The Serenity Prayer is one, asking myself what am I supposed to learn from this? A walk exploring the outdoors, or simply sitting in solitude, being out in nature grounds and centers me.
Q.) What’s your relationship with The King Center in Atlanta?
A.) For as far back as I can remember I’ve been drawn to the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King. The King Center’s continued courage and commitment to create lasting social change through nonviolence made it easy for me to take the pledge, “Be Love” and join the Beloved Community. And may I just say, that Dr. Bernice King is one of my heroes. I follow her on Twitter and everyday she delivers some major truths and wisdom. Love her fiery and courageous spirit!
Q.) What were your favorite subjects in high school?
A.) International Relations and Journalism.
Q.) Who were your heroes as a high school student?
A.) I’ll have to say Mother Teresa, Jane Pittman, Anne Frank, to name a few. My greatest hero was my mother who grew up poor, and raised two daughters as a single parent.
Q.) What is your favorite book?
A. ) I’ve read so many great books throughout the years. Top of my list are The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and Leading With Integrity by Pat Williams.
Q.) Can we expect a book from you in 2022?
A.) That’s the goal, I’m working hard to make it happen and when it does I’ll be shouting from the rooftop.
Q.) What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
A.) The absolute best investment I ever made was taking in my nephew, who was 10 at the time,to raise. Love him, now 32, love him more than anything!
Q.) Do you have a favorite movie?
A.) So many fabulous movies to choose from, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Casablanca, Steel Magnolias, The Color Purple, are only a few.
Q.) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
A.) Anywhere there’s water you would fine me in my Happy Place.
Q.) If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere in St. Petersburg, Florida with anything on it, what would it say?
A.) “Be The Change That You Wish To See In The World” –Mahatma Gandhi … … I’d love to see that quote plastered on every billboard in every community to serve as a reminder of our responsibility to take action to create everlasting change. Change starts from within ourselves. So I want to see more love.
Q.) What’s your favorite vacation memory?
A.) Aww, my favorite vacation memory was taking my nephew on his first real vacation in the Bahamas. Watching him experience the wonders of a new world, priceless!
Q.) If I owned a bakery and you came in to purchase a cake and I told you all I had were two cakes. A Lemon cake and a Louisiana Crunch, which one would you purchase?
A.) Well, Charles, while I do enjoy a nice slice of Lemon cake, I’d have to choose the Louisiana Crunch, since I’ve never heard of that, much less tasted it, and being a woman who loves trying new things, bring it on please.
In Greek mythology, Iris, goddess of the rainbow sent messages from heaven to earth. Rainbows are more than a spectacular mix of colors painted after the rains. Rainbows are God speaking to us, yes, God is reminding us of His promise made to us so long ago. Many are familiar with the biblical story of Noah and the Ark. We are told that God made it rain 150 days and 150 nights there by flooding the whole earth and in doing so all living things would perish in the flood. After this God spoke to Noah and told him of the Rainbow,and then God placed the Rainbow in the sky as a promise to never to flood the earth again.
Today when we behold this marvel in the sky called Rainbow, God is speaking to us and He shows us again His enormous love and beauty, in the Rainbow.
The scientific explanation for Rainbows:
Rainbows are the result of sunlight bending through raindrops. This bending, called refraction, occurs when light passes through the water in the air.
What scientist cannot explain:
It is physically impossible to walk under a Rainbow.
Rainbows literally exist only in the eyes of the observer.
God speaks to us individually and universally and His promise–Rainbow
“The phone is the Key to better management of access to doors, gates.” –Lawrence Vinson Jr.
Hello friends today I’d like to talk about one of the best security systems networks companies in Atlanta.
The company is Priority Response Systems and Networks, LLC, manged by my friend of nine-years–Lawrence Vinson Jr.
What this company does is create security measures specific to the needs of a home, business, or construction site. Lawrence Vinson Jr. has been in business for 30-years, he started out as an ethernet cable business but after ten-years he transitioned into security monitoring and access control systems.
Client list includes:
1.) Home Depot
2.) Morris Brown College
3.) 4 U Records (Recording Studio)
4.) Nfinity ( International Company)
Priority Response Systems and Networks is one of the fastest growing companies in greater Atlanta and it’s not just business in Atlanta. Nine years ago, my father died right around Christmas time and my mother was living alone in Augusta, Georgia and I realized she would need a good security system now that my father had passed on. I asked friends if any knew of a reputable security company and everyone I spoke with told me to call Lawrence Vinson.
I called Lawrence and told him the situation and I asked him if he could do the job in short order, he told me he could. I called my mother and told her to expect someone from Priority Response Systems and Networks. Lawrence went to Augusta, met my mom and put a wonderful system in that was easy to understand and simple to use. Lawrence Vinson Jr. and I have been friends ever since.
So, If you have security needs for your home or business please consider:
“So often the contemporary Church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the statusquo.”-MLK
To my fellow clergy, and friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, peace and blessings be with you all this Sunday morning. I really need to talk about this song–Amazing Grace. I take issue with this song and remained mystified that the black church continues to sing this mess. Has anyone taken the time to find out what the origins of that song? Has anyone closely examined the words of that song?
“How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” –John Newton
Hmmmmmmm… a wretch like me…now, what in the world have I done so awful that I should sing a song and call myself a wretch? A wretch, just think about the actual meaning of the word in relation to you and the good life you live. Well, let’s go to the dictionary and see what the word means.
Wretch- A base or dispicable person.
Is that YOU?
I thought not!
Why did John Newton write the song Amazing Grace?
First, who was John Newton?
John Newton was a slave owner, slave trader, and a rapist of black women slaves he owned. One day John Newton was in a boat at sea and a big storm came in and rocked the boat violently, John Newton thought he was going to die and so he began to seriously pray and asked God to save him. God heard his prayer and saved his life. In return John Newton wrote a personal song to God.
This song Amazing Grace was not a song for us to sing! This song was a song for this one vile human being –John Newton to sing.
So, I do not understand why this song is still sung in any church. I joined the United States Navy when I was 17-years old and the very first time I came home in my dress white uniform my mother was so proud of me and she pleaded with me to go with her to church the following Sunday. Mother reminded me I should wear my navy uniform–dress whites. So, mother and I go to her church and we are quickly handed hymn books. We read from the book and both begin to sing. All is well until we get to that song–Amazing Grace. I am aghast at the lyric I’m reading:
“How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”
I stopped singing and put the hymn book down, church was over for me. On the ride back home mother asked me why I didn’t sing Amazing Grace. I said,
“Mother, I’m just only seventeen-years old, what have I done in my short life that I should call myself a wretch?” There was silence the rest of the way home and the subject was never brought up again. Many years later I would meet Dick Gregory and Dick Gregory was the one who really educated me on what a vile dirt-bag John Newton was.
Today, when I think of a wretch, I’m thinking–Dylnn Roof; the young man who slaughtered nine church members during Bible school service in Charleston, South Carolina.
So I say to my fellow clergy with great passion,
no one in our church should be singing that dreadful song. We are so much better than that.
This weekend we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the March On Washington. Each month a new street somewhere in the world is named after this remarkable man-Martin Luther King Jr. and my last count was 1,012 streets bear his name. I have written countless essays on Dr. King, but this one is most special to me because we explore his childhood which is almost never explored or talked about. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Martin’s mother was a school teacher and Martin’s father was one of the most famous preachers in Atlanta, perhaps even in the state of Georgia. At six-years old Martin’s two best friends were white boys, they were brothers, Tom and Billy. Each day they would play together all day and often the three would go to each others house have lunch and play as young boys do. One day six-year old Martin went over to Tom and Billy’s house and he knocked on the door, Tom’s mom came to the door and she informed young Martin, Tom and Billy could no longer play with him. Martin confused, asked why.
Tom’s mother told young Martin because he was black and they were white and then she slammed the door in his face. Young Martin went back home confused and deeply troubled at what just happened to him; he told his mother. Martin’s mother tried her best to explain this thing called racism. She tried to tell him how some white people treat black people. Martin never interrupted his mother and when she was finished Martin extended his arms out and emphatically proclaimed:
“BUT MOTHER, I’M NOT BLACK, I’M BROWN!”
I hasten to add Martin Luther King Jr. came into the world Michael King Jr. so at the time of this incident he was called Michael. Martin’s father would change both their names some years later.
At the Atlanta film premiere of GONE WITH THE WIND on December 28th 1939 ten-year old Martin Luther King Jr. appeared on stage at a charity ball dressed as a slave boy for the promotion of the movie.
At age 12 young Martin tried to hurt himself when he was told his beloved grandmother had just died from a heart attack. Martin went to a parade that his parents told him he could not go, he went anyway and when he returned home his parents told him of his grandmother’s passing. Martin went upstairs to his room and jumped out the window intent on hurting himself.
At 15 young Martin was selected to a high school state-wide speaking contest that was held in Valdosta, Georgia, some 100 miles from Atlanta. Martin and his English teacher boarded the bus, but on the way back to Atlanta the bus began to fill up with white passengers, Martin and his teacher were told to give up their seats for the newly arrived white passengers. Martin refused.
Martin’s teacher pleaded with him, she knew they would kill him if he did not comply. So Martin gave up his seat and he and his English teacher had to stand for that long 100 mile trip. I read where Martin Luther King Jr. talked about that horrible experience and he said he was never so angry in his whole life as to that time where he had to stand when he paid for that seat back to Atlanta. I always thought it was appropriate that Dr. King lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott because he had first hand experience of the depravity black bus passengers endured.
At the tender age of 17, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his first sermon, the year was 1946 in his father’s church.
“God isn’t some distant figure, high on a thrown in the sky, God is here. God is now. God is in each and everyone of you, you have value, you matter.”
“The Sabbath , thus, is more than an armistice, more than an interlude; it is a profound conscious harmony of man and the world, a sympathy for all things and a participation in the spirit that unites what is below and what is above. This is the Sabbath, and the true happiness of the universe.”
— Abraham Joshua Heschel
The Sabbath was established by God after He made the world in six days. The Sabbath is a day of holiness when man can find special favor with God through prayer and meditation. The sacredness of the Sabbath serves as a perpetual reminder to humankind of our Covenant with God. Yes, the Sabbath is a day we can and should strengthen our faith and learn to rely on God the Father to help us. In light of Covid-19 as we watch helplessly our children and babies are suffering and dying from this dreadful disease, Covid-19. Yes brothers and sisters The Sabbath is Upon Us! Our prayers never go unheard and on the Sabbath day God grants special blessings to those who seek Him and ask. I speak from experience when I say I know that God does deliver special blessings on the Sabbath, for He has blessed me and rescued me many times throughout my life, Amen.
Family, may we all pray and meditate and give thanks to God and ask Him to protect our children and our babies.
Biblical scholars recognize that Saturday was and is the day of the Sabbath.