Cosmically we find ourselves in a very perplexing condition. There are so many elements of life where people are seeking an explanation for the evil and dark things that occur locally and globally. We wonder why bad conditions can be absorbed by the perceivably good. Without an anchored faith in Christ, the earthly world in which we live could only be understood as an ultimate platform of injustice. But through the grace of God, He has an answer. Not everyone is willing to embrace His solutionary scheme, but He has a justice and redemption plan for humanity. Read the rest of this entry
Of all the symbols, images, sayings, and announcements on June 26, 2015; the day the Supreme Court of America ruled same-sex marriage legal across the nation, the illuminated caption of the White House in Gay Pride colored-lights captured and gripped my psyche the most. All of this should be expected. I am actually surprised at the Christians who are surprised by the ruling. I have no expectation for the Legislative, Judicial, or Executive governmental branches of America to operate under or uphold a biblical ethos or motif. That is the pure work of the church.
Have you been going through the same thing for a while, which leaves you constantly feeling as if there is no way out? Maybe you feel like you are in the movie Ground Hogs Day and you are constantly waking up only to find that you are in the same scene in life. If so, then you are having a wilderness experience. Read the rest of this entry
America has reached a point where the subliminal veil of pervasive injustice has been categorically removed and a bright light is now shining on its powerful and suppressive essence. The erroneous thought of living in a post-racial America is truly a façade. This reality, though intellectually denied and refuted through a lens of privilege, is now forcing all of humanity, at least those who elect to be privy to and abreast of National and International events of racial trauma, to make choices, espouse a position, or retreat behind the Eurocentric hegemonic walls of superiority, colorblindness, supremacy, imperialism, and racism.
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Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. Read the rest of this entry
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:26-27). Read the rest of this entry
The Ferguson tension and grand jury verdict, concerning the Darren Wilson killing of Michael Brown Jr., has left me with complex emotions and responses. Clearly this is not the first encounter of its kind, yet the enigmatic circumstances remain. Considering the fact that I have lived through this experience with my wife and family, as her unarmed brother was gunned down by two Oakland Police Officers in a cold dark alley on November 8, 2010, the Ferguson dynamics are all too familiar. My wife has not been able to watch proceedings or engage in dialogue with me over the verdict or Ferguson fallout, because it is a mere replay of emotionally painful injustice.
I am really compelled to write about a different encounter that occurred when I was around 22, but I will stick with the current order as previously suggested.
During Police Encounters #4 I was not married (I was engaged to my wife), and I still lived at 1858 McAllister street. During the time of this incident I was approximately 27 or 28 years of age and I worked as a therapist and substance abuse counselor for the Westside Community Mental Health, Youth Awareness Program. My three core co-workers were Ben Bautista, Yehiel Yisrael, and the famous singer Lenny Williams. Read the rest of this entry
Just a short time after Police Encounters #2, Police Encounters #3 was etched into my schematic psyche. After being cuffed and thrown in a car, my wife had a difficult time understanding how and why her husband was subjected to such a ridiculous circumstance and violation. It was something that actually put her in fear of losing me. No one would have ever imagined that 11 or 12 years later her unarmed brother (Derrick DD Jones) would be murdered by two Oakland Police officers, not far from his East Oakland barber shop. Read the rest of this entry
At the age of 29 I worked as a clinician for the Westside Community Mental Health Assertive Community Treatment Program, serving 100 of the top 400 San Francisco men and women suffering from extreme forms of mental health impairment. I had already graduated with my Masters in Counseling, with specializations in Marriage and Family Therapy and School Counseling, and I was working on my doctorate at the University of San Francisco. Additionally I was preaching twice a week at my home Uptown church of Christ congregation and the other two weeks preached somewhere in the Bay Area or California. Read the rest of this entry