Posted in HEROES OF THE FAITH, HISTORY CHANNELS, QUOTES FOR ALL, SCHOOL WORK

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote Collection

Martin Luther King Spotlight
After spending a great deal of time studying the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I have gained even more respect and admiration for his person, and his work. Two things about him have really struck me, as I’ve listened to his speeches and interviews: How great a speaker he was, and perhaps even more, how brave, how courageous he was-and had to be, every day. Let’s also remember that, yes, he was a Pastor. And, a father. And, a husband. And … a brother.
Ted
Martin Luther King shirtsleeves
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King giving speech
“A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.”

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

The time is always right to do what is right.”
Martin Luther Kind-Hands on podium
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

“A right delayed is a right denied.”

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
Martin Luther King, Jr in front of Lincoln Memorial
“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

“War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.”

“Seeing is not always believing.”

“The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.”
martin-luther-color picture

Special Video Presentation: Martin’s Big Words

 

Posted in HEROES OF THE FAITH, HISTORY CHANNELS, HOLIDAYS, SCHOOL WORK, VIDEOS, POWER POINTS, AND PHOTOS TO SHARE

Special Video Presentation: Martin’s Big Words

At this time last year, we posted a group of quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr., to go with pictures for the presentation. Now, even one year later, that post continues to be one of the most-viewed posts on the blog.
To view that post again, just click here:

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote Collection

Now, we present a video of the book “Martin’s Big Words.” The book was written by Doreen Rappaport, and the narration is by Michael Clarke Duncan. To go with the beautiful artwork, a choir is featured throughout the presentation.

The words of the book, the excellent narration, and the choir, all join together to make viewing this an unforgettable experience.
Please enjoy the video … remember … and honor … the life and lasting legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted in I REMEMBER, QUOTES FOR ALL, SCHOOL WORK, VIDEOS, POWER POINTS, AND PHOTOS TO SHARE

Of May of ’68: Best of, Worst of Times and Memories: Dickens, Abraham, Martin, John, Bobby … and Jon

If ever a time could indeed be called “The best of times, the worst of times,” perhaps the decade of the 60’s would qualify …
The 1860’s and the 1960’s.

I remember much of the 1960’s, especially from the mid-60’s on.
Of course, we don’t remember April/May of 1865, and I honestly don’t clearly remember the events of November 1963, but I remember, clearly, April/May 1968. I remember being in school the “morning after Memphis,” and on a Saturday morning early the next month, gathering around the black and white television, hearing the news from Los Angeles, about Bobby.

I have spent much time researching the lives of those we’ve lost, and have serious regrets (honestly) that I haven’t learned more about Martin Luther King, for example, and others, until now.

Perhaps the greatest opening to any book written by a single author, and the most remembered, is the way “A Tale of Two Cities,” by Charles Dickens opens. We’ve all heard, even from the pulpit the “best of times, worst of times” quote, but I didn’t realize how powerful the whole paragraph is … and the fact that it even mentions “modern times,” and how accurately the words depict the decade of the 60’s (both) … keep in mind that “A Tale of Two Cities” was published in 1859. Here’s a look at the cover of the first edition:

A Tale of Two Cities. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. First edition Date: 1859
A Tale of Two Cities. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. First edition
Date: 1859

Here is the complete opening:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

We will end this post with the last lines from the book … equally amazing. Oh … How about a picture of Charles Dickens?
Charles-DickensWe grew up listening, part of our lives, the song “Abraham, Martin, and John,” originally recorded by Dion. Here’s one: I remember Dion singing this, his current smash hit, on “The Smothers Brothers” show …

I have spent much time looking for what I thought was the best video presentation of this song. So, we share that with you, in recognition of the great vocal, and especially the photos which accompany the song … This was the best video presentation I found … a live recording of “Abraham, Martin, and John” by, yes … Jon Bon Jovi … yes, that is Jon Bon Jovi … enjoy a great vocal with the memories … the 60’s (both), of May, and the men …

And, now, after watching the video, and remembering, here are the last lines from “A Tale of Two Cities:”
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
Blessings,
Ted


Posted in HEROES OF THE FAITH, HISTORY CHANNELS, SCHOOL WORK

Prayer Returns to Public Schools

Hi Friends:

This is another one of those times when I ask you to place the title in context.

There is a thought which says that prayer isn’t allowed in Public Schools.
There is also a thought which says that God isn’t allowed in Public Schools.
Both are just not true. Why?

I go to School every day.
I pray in School every day.
I bring God with me to School every day.
I am reminded of a story told by Evangelist R.W. Schambach:
A man enters a church, sits down, and remarks to the lady sitting next to him, “God is in this place.”
The lady turns to the man, and in a voice which only Rev. Schambach could replicate, says, “How do you know that?”
The man answers, “Because I brought Him with me.”

Yes, there are two distinct problems surrounding this “prayer in Public School” issue.
My Pastor once said that he sent his kids to School to learn about Science, Math, English, etc. Not to learn about God. Again, think of the context. They were supposed to learn about God at home. From Godly parents. I think you can see the problem there.
Then, let’s go back to this “I bring Him with me” issue. The ones who have learned about God, even know God … don’t act like it, once that bell rings. Again, this won’t fit everyone, but please understand the context here.

So, here it is, today. January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day here in the United States. What I wish is that everyone in the United States would learn about how governments are in other countries around the globe. That every American citizen would learn about what is happening “everywhere else.” Again, context. How so many nations are in political turmoil. How Christians are being killed, just because it was “found out” that they were Christians. How, in so many countries, it is illegal to convert to Christianity … how much suffering is going on … and, hopefully, everyone would realize how “good we’ve got it” over here. How many countries have their media “state-run.” Etc.

What I am getting at, is how blessed we are, to have a day like today. Something we’ve heard so many times, but take for granted: “The peaceful transition of power.” The peaceful transition of power.

I am hopeful that many Schools … I would think that all Schools … carried the Inauguration today. I’m not speaking about the Inaugural Address here. I’m writing about the ceremony. Boy … governments love ceremony … Anyway, I would hope, because of the great opportunity to see history, right in front of our eyes … that many Schools carried the Inauguration ceremony today.

Let me get this one out of the way right now: I’m not speaking as a Republican, or a Democratic. I am speaking as an American. An American citizen.

Here goes: I remember, back during the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, as the President was being prepped for surgery, President Reagan looked up at the doctor, which was getting ready to operate. President Reagan said, “I hope you’re Republican.” The doctor answered, “Today, Mr. President, we are all Republican.” I heard this from President Reagan himself.

That’s what I mean. Today, we are all Americans. A remarkable thing has happened. And … it happened right in front of our eyes.

Back to the School … I’ve written how, in our Library, we have a large-screen television, which I use, sound muted and CC on, to carry news, weather, slide shows, and, especially, important news coverage of events happening “right now.” Certainly, an historic event like the Presidential Inauguration, qualifies for “live, streaming” coverage … with sound …

So, that’s what we did today. First thing this morning, I tuned the television to continuous, live coverage of the events, with sound … I must admit, I learned a lot, and was captivated by the historical tidbits the news anchors shared … I learned a lot …

If what I saw, and heard, happened in every Presidential Inauguration, then I may be saying too much about something that happens every Inauguration. But, for some reason, this one seemed different. The amount of prayers. The mention of God. And, especially, the mention of “the name of Jesus.” I mean … I heard Jesus mentioned a lot. Even “the powerful name of Jesus.” Somehow, it seemed like God was mentioned more this time … there were more prayers … the name of Jesus … more than any Inauguration I can remember.

So … innocently … and, I do mean innocently … there I was, with the television on, loud enough to be heard throughout the Library … and, as the ceremony got underway … time, and again … I heard a prayer … I heard Scripture being read … live on television, beaming out to the world … including Schools … prayers … Scripture being quoted … God being mentioned … a lot … Jesus being mentioned … a lot … the name of Jesus … being called on … in front of me … in front of the School … in front of audiences all around the globe … the name of Jesus … “in the name of Jesus” being said on many occasions … right in front of me … on television … in public … at a government ceremony … right in front of me … on television … in Public School … my School … it seems like there were three separate prayers before the Inaugural Address, and three prayers after the Address …

I heard “America the Beautiful.” I heard prayers. I heard Scripture being read. I heard our National Anthem. Ok, I’ll say it … when was the last time you heard these two songs during the same program? Yes … I heard our National Anthem many times last weekend … Football, remember?
I heard … yes, I heard and saw … the Mormon Tabernacle Choir … When was the last time, on National Television, you heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

Quickly, allow me to mention this: One of my teacher colleagues, who is not a Donald Trump fan … I heard him proclaim, after the Republican Convention, “If he gets elected, I’m moving to Canada” … this same teacher, as an American citizen, could not believe that there were government officials who were not going to the Inauguration … this same teacher, who understands the importance of this “peaceful transition of power,” regardless of political beliefs … joined me, in the Library, during the Inauguration Ceremony … when the announcement was made to “please stand and honor our country during the singing of our National Anthem” … this same teacher, stood with me, side-by-side, during the singing of the National Anthem … I’ll never forget it … I also have made the decision, during televised sporting events, regardless of how comfortable I am, to stand during the Anthem … and, Monday, I plan to just walk up to him … and shake his hand … because he “gets it;” it’s not about “me,” but about “us,” as in United States …

So, today, there is a School-wide event, so I leave the television on in the Library, lock up, and head to the gym … When I left the Library, the Inaugural Address and benedictions had ended, the former President and First Lady had left the ceremony, and the Parade would follow … I lock up, again, leaving the television on, and enjoy the School event in the gym … When I return to the Library, as I enter, I can hear the television … but … it’s not coverage of the Parade being covered … it’s rioting, taking place, just a couple of blocks from the White House … rocks are being thrown at police … businesses have been damaged … a riot is taking place …

I don’t know what to say, or think … this is the United States, this is Inauguration Day, and this is less than 2 blocks from the White House … I hear, and see, reports about rocks being thrown at police … rocks being thrown at police …

Boy, does our country need prayer. Need to hear the Scripture. Need Godly examples. As I write this, I don’t know how all this turned out. I do know this: Many people can’t handle freedom. Even “the peaceful transition of power.” There are people who don’t have “peace within;” didn’t have it then, don’t have it now … won’t have it later, until they know this “Prince of Peace,” this “Jesus;” the One of whom so many heard the name of today … in the Library … in Public Schools … all across the globe …

Here goes: The Inauguration happened in Washington, D.C. If it had been held in any other city, yes, any other city, there would have been people to “show up” there as well … there will always be “those people” who can’t wait to throw rocks at police, or throw a brick through a business window … they’ll even travel for the opportunity … if this is a “demonstration,” it certainly is … let’s say that again … if “making your point” involves the destruction of property, or throwing projectiles at police … it certainly does “demonstrate” something …

Just 4 days ago, we celebrated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral; begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it … Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness … War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.”

God, help us. As I heard in the Inaugural Address, as all the world heard … as Schools all over America heard, from our President, the most important “help” we can get … is from God …

Blessings to you, and your family.
And, God, please, bless America

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

Posted in BIBLE STUDY, SUCCESS: NOTES, QUOTES, & FOLKS, WEALTH STORED FOR THE RIGHTEOUS

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 10

If there has been a common thread which continues to run throughout this series, it would be this statement from Hebrews 13:5: “Be content with what you have.”
God gives us a little to see how we handle it. How we handle it will determine if He gives us more. In other words, He gives us a little, so see what we would do if He gave us a lot.

Another common thread is the discussion of how important it is, how we “handle things.” Perhaps the most important characteristic we show to the world is “how we handle things.” Good things. Bad things. Honestly, I don’t know which circumstance reveals our character more: When we have less than we need … Or, when we have more than we need. When all is said and done … how people will remember us … will be largely based upon two things: How we “handled things,” and how we treated others. This is because both of these characteristics will be based upon how we mirror, or not-the image of Christ. How His influence … influenced us …. or, whether we allowed “others” (this can be both people and things) to influence us.

I guess it really is just a simple matter, this “influence,” of what you allow to control you. One of the great quotes I’ve ever heard is from my Pastor in Georgia:
“What you attach yourself to, you become a part of.”
It is, simply put, just a matter of control.
What we allow to influence us has the power … great power … to control us.

We try to write as much about how important it is how we act when things are going well, as when things are not going well. Especially, when true heartache is involved. Again, I can honestly say, from a Christian life standpoint, I’m not sure which is a harder test: Success or poverty. There are many quotes I could use, but the one from Dr. David Jeremiah I still love, how it is circumstances which reveal, not change, character. Or, from Dr. Martin Luther King, about how the true test of a man’s character is not when he is on the mountaintop, but when he is in the deep valley. Both valid. Both powerful. Both true.

I must say this: It is just a matter of control. Of who, or what, we allow to influence us. When we were kids, and boy this made us mad more often than not … our parents would always try to warn us about friends we had, people we were hanging out with … we hated that … and, let’s be honest, often we felt hate toward them (even though we didn’t really understand “hate” at the time) for trying to keep us away from who or what they thought would be a bad influence on us.
I wonder why that was?
Why did our parents, and sometimes our friends, and sometimes our teachers, try to warn us about what would happen if we continued to “hang out” with certain people? Or, try to stop us from doing certain things?
Why was that?

Has the principle behind such a warning changed? Have bad influences suddenly become ok for us to be around? Oh, yeah … I forgot … we are “all grown up now,” so we can’t be influenced by people or things anymore …

I just came in from outside, checking on a flower garden. We have been so busy this summer with work going on around the house, that, especially with equipment all around the house and yard, we haven’t mowed the grass in a month. I examined a new flower garden which I started earlier this summer, before the work began. If I don’t act right away … and yank those weeds out of the garden … get them out of there, away from the flowers … those weeds will take over the whole garden! Just the weeds being there, right now, have already hindered the growth of some really beautiful flowers … if I don’t act fast … and the bad weeds are already starting to influence the young, impressionable flowers … if I don’t act fast … if I don’t remove those weeds … if I don’t get them away from the flowers … if I don’t remove the weeds from the flowers … the weeds will take over … completely … the weeds will take over … will take complete control of the flowers … will take complete control of the garden … the flowers, with all their potential of being so beautiful … so beautiful, so lovely … will be destroyed … And, in so doing, the weeds will destroy the entire garden …

I “hate” to tell you this … but, I must: The weeds won’t mind a bit that the garden is destroyed. In fact … yes … even though God created the weeds, too … In fact … it seems that the entire reason for the existence of the weeds … is to “take over” …

Funny … as with so many things … we see it and warn our children … we see it and “yank out those weeds” in the garden … yet … now that we are “all grown up,” we can’t see it in our adult lives …

As a side note, some of the flowers in the “new garden” were transplanted, full grown, from an area which was overtaken by grass, trees, and weeds. They did well, even there, but I wanted them to have the opportunity to reach their full potential, so I “got them out of there” and put them in a special, newly cultivated area. They were even blooming at the time, and they never lost their blooms … they transplanted so well … what a great spot for them now! However … since I haven’t taken the time, in a while, to “weed” their new surroundings … even though they were strong, beautiful, full-grown flowers … if I don’t get those weeds away from them … as strong … as beautiful … as full-grown as they are … they won’t last much longer … not as long as those weeds are allowed to influence them … and, their environment.

I think there is a lesson in there, somewhere!
Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow? And … that goes for the older, well established garden, too!
I weeded it early … but, not often … and, even though it is an old, well-established, vibrant, “growing wildly” flower garden … making it through a few cold, snow-filled winters … if I don’t “yank those weeds” out of its environment, we all know what will happen to it, as well.

Please note that both of these gardens, both young and old … are facing this new “enemy,” well capable of their destruction … during the summer … during the days of sunshine, when the sun is at its brightest …

Which further confirms my question of whether it is more difficult during bleak times … or sunny times?

I guess it just depends on what or who (and if I don’t get out there, that will be me) is allowed to influence their environment …

Remember that, sometimes, the greatest action, the action which results in, causes, and influences the most action … is inaction.

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

Posted in BEGIN A NEW DAY, HISTORY CHANNELS, SUCCESS: NOTES, QUOTES, & FOLKS

“Period” Art Words: “Begin a New Day”- Part Four

Hi Friends:

Well, as I begin Part Four, I am reminded that the original idea was a single post, intended to share with you a particular piece of artwork we feature over at our online store, Pastor Appreciation Gifts, entitled “Begin a New Day.” As with our writing, it will never be about the art … it’s always about the words … and, just thinking about the words to this artwork brought on a series, which we hope has blessed and encouraged you. I never know, when I begin to write that first sentence, what will follow. I mean, I have it all planned out … but, God will intervene, and … “here we go …”

I am reminded that God gave me an idea from the book of Haggai, and, as I began to write … and listen … it turned into an eight-part series. It was only about “Three Words,” but God turned it into several pages, over many, many days. Looks like it will also turn into a new book in the future. I just can’t say enough, how important it is to listen to God, to put yourself into a position to be used by Him, for Him, and through Him.

As I continue this “series” on “Begin a New Day,” I remember that, about 6 months ago, I started a series on “Road Reflections,” about our travels through the South … it has been 6 months now, and I haven’t finished it yet, and, in fact, haven’t written about the “series” in what seems like months … I’m ok with that, as long as I am led by the Spirit about what I write, and when …

One of my favorite stories about President John F. Kennedy is how often he would prepare a specific speech, for a specific time, for a specific audience … and, then … between the time that he would be introduced, and the time he had made his way up to the podium … he would deliver a totally different speech … completely from memory …

I am also reminded of what I have recently researched concerning Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, in Washington, DC, on that day back in 1963. The day before (and days before), Dr. King, yes, prepared the speech that he knew could be the defining moment … and, prepared for the speech … The “I Have a Dream” segment was not part of the preparation … in fact, his closest advisor had strongly advised against using this “I Have a Dream” idea which Dr. King had already presented in speeches in other cities, prior … So, somewhere in the middle of Dr. King’s speech (the one which he was reading directly from, on the podium) … he heard the voice of legendary Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (who had performed earlier in the program), yelling to him … yelling at him … to talk about “The Dream,” the title of a similar speech she had heard him make in those other cities … So, Dr. King set aside the remainder of his prepared speech … and, spoke, with no notes, the speech which would define his life, and his mission to the world …

I should add that, according to my research, when Dr. King began the “I Have a Dream” portion of the speech, this “closest advisor” was not pleased … I can’t repeat what he said … but, let’s just say that he was not happy with the way the speech had turned … that Dr. King had relied on his heart alone to share his deepest “dreams,” and not what was “prepared” for him to say …

The night before Dr. King gave this speech, he was going over the prepared speech with his advisors, making final preparations, in a meeting room at the hotel. Abruptly, Dr. King left the meeting, to go up to his private room. The reason? Here’s what he said: “I’m going to consult with my Lord.”
You know how many were there to hear Dr. King’s words. They had planned for, maybe … maybe … 100,000. You know that 250,000 came. I have had the honor to speak in front of large crowds, and, it seems, the larger the audience, the larger the preparation. And, I’ll admit, the less the “ad-lib.” And, the more guests are performing/speaking on a program, the more closely you are expected to “stay with the program.” I can’t even imagine standing in front of a quarter-of-a-million people, and then just completely leaving the script behind, and (as we say in education), just “winging it.”

On that hot August day in 1963, there was a world-wide television audience, including President John F. Kennedy, watching from the White House. I have read what he said, as he watched the speech. Let’s just say he was impressed. Greatly impressed. Later that day, as Dr. King and other dignitaries associated with the event were guests at the White House, here are the 4 words with which President Kennedy greeted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King: “I have a dream.”

I am reminded of a Bible study I attended a few years ago. The Pastor was the speaker, and he began the lesson by describing the impact which a few words he heard, early in his life, had made on him. How a few words, from one speech he had listened to, had affected the way he looked at his life and purpose today, and in the future. How this one speech had affected not only him, but an entire generation of Americans. The speech was President Kennedy’s Inauguration Speech, which he had heard live, as a teenager. The words revolved around the “Ask not what this country can do for you” portion of the speech.

That was 1961. Two years later, came the “Dream” speech. It could be said that, just like Abraham Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg (I try to never miss an opportunity!), these speeches’ power and affect would only be realized later … but, they would be realized … the question is always, “How fully?”

You just never know who may be listening to what you say. Or, to what you write.

I think I just realized that I must write a “Part Five.”

I had no idea that I would “go there” with this writing, but I am glad that I did. I want to be obedient to the call. His call. I am reminded, again, that God is not interested in capability … only availability …

Jesus gave the most powerful “speeches” in history … I also think of Paul, standing before kings … I don’t read of any mention of preparation for these speeches … I only read of the time they each spent in prayer … before the speeches … This “Begin a New Day” with prayer, and hearing from God is a powerful concept … and, I’m ok with that …

I am also reminded of the power of words. Your words. My words. Words you say. Words I say. Words you write. Words I write. How much prayer goes into each? If we “Begin a New Day” the “right way,” then I like our chances for the rest of the day.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
The Gettysburg Address

 

Posted in HEROES OF THE FAITH, HISTORY CHANNELS, SCHOOL WORK, VIDEOS, POWER POINTS, AND PHOTOS TO SHARE

Two Special Videos: Rosa Parks

Hi Friends:
As you know, I enjoy sharing inspirational quotes with you, from all kinds of different sources. I had originally planned, this week, to feature quotes from Rosa Parks, and may yet, at a later time.

For now, the quote which comes to mind is something I heard Deepak Chopra say, as part of an introduction, before he conducted an interview with Rosa Parks. He remembered, as a boy, growing up in India, one morning his father burst into the dining room during breakfast, clutching a newspaper. His father’s short, simple statement was something which stayed with him, and I’m sure greatly influenced him: “There’s a new Gandhi! In the United States!” The newspaper carried the story we have all come to know … about quiet strength … resolve … and peaceful demonstration …

I am proud that one of my favorite posts, and still one of the most viewed, is the “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote Collection” we featured back on January 21, 2013. Here’s a link to that post:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote Collection

Our sharing of the book “Martin’s Big Words” (which will be right under the “Quotes” post if you go there) is still our most watched video over on our YouTube Channel.

In researching the Rosa Parks story, as I wanted to do a special lesson at school about Rosa Parks, I read many books, and viewed countless videos. I’d like to share my favorite two of those videos with you today. I also used the moment to teach what a “biography” is. I explained that I love to read biographies because I want to read about great people who have done great things … because it inspires me …encourages me … to try to do great things. I am proud that “my kids” know who Rosa Parks is, and who Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is. What they did … and, why they did it. I think I am just as proud to know that for myself.

The first video is a clip from the movie, “The Rosa Parks Story.” “The Rosa Parks Story” aired on CBS Television on February 24, 2002. Please note this movie is still available for purchase today on Amazon, etc. The script was written by Paris Qualles, and the movie was directed by Julie Dash. Angela Bassett performed a remarkable portrayal of Rosa Parks. You may also recall that Cicely Tyson played Rosa’s mother. This is one of the most dramatic moments I’ve experienced from the screen. I wasn’t sure if I should feature this, “The Arrest Scene,” but I got my answer today. I saw elementary students held, motionless, in awe of what they were watching. They are too young to understand all of the story … but, as the scene developed … I heard children, quietly, gasping … “Get up, Rosa … Rosa, stand up …” Again, all they knew was that they were drawn to this “Rosa Parks,” and, in their innocent, loving way … they didn’t want to see her get into trouble …

In explaining the benefits of a biography, I explained how, when reading (or viewing a biography, as a movie or documentary can also be a biography) we stand in the subject’s shoes, in their place … we find ourselves experiencing what they experienced … we feel what they are feeling … Can you imagine being on that bus … in December, 1955?
Here we are able to “get on that bus” with Rosa Parks, in the “Arrest Scene” from “The Rosa Parks Story”:

Now, here is the second video, and it is a song, with the lead singer doing an excellent job as Rosa Parks singing “I Sat on a Bus.” I just fell in love with the video immediately. Maybe it was because I was still reeling from the dramatic effects of the “Arrest Scene” from the movie, but this video grabbed me, and I found myself laughing out loud, in pure enjoyment. I hope you feel the same way:

Posted in BEGIN A NEW DAY, BIBLE STUDY, HOLIDAYS, WEATHER-OR NOT

“Period” Art Words: “Begin a New Day”-Part Two

Well, since I wrote Part One, we have had overnight low temperatures up here from 15 to 25 below zero. In fact, as I write this on an early evening, it is already below zero. That’s ok: it’s going to be “warmer” tonight than last night (only -10), so we’ll take that as a positive. And … get this … we may actually see 30 degrees (above!) tomorrow … before it’s back to near 20 below in a couple of nights … Last Friday, when I left School, it was 17 degrees (above zero!), and it felt like Spring. I remember that it was 16 degrees on my front deck, and I felt like I should be wearing just a t-shirt. So … it really is just a matter of perspective … how you look at things … your attitude. Since that writing, we’ve had a couple of snowstorms, with another one set to arrive on Sunday … into Monday.

One of the things I had to learn over the last few years up here in the North Country:
Never, ever say, “It’s too cold to snow.”
Now, I can add to that, something else I guess I should never say … something I had let “slip out” a couple of times over the last couple of days:
“Looks like this will be the first “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” where I won’t have to shovel snow.”

Anyway, I remind myself again, that, you just never, ever know what the day will bring. That’s why it’s so important to start your day the right way. We all work with people who seem to always be in a bad mood, and, you take it personally when they turn on you. My stock reaction to these people is this: “They weren’t in a good mood when they got here.”

It is so important to “Begin a New Day” with the correct attitude. And, I believe the only way to achieve that is by going to the One Person who controls the day, who already knows what the day is going to hold … By starting the day with prayer and reading His Word. Why would you not consult with the One who already knows what’s “coming up,” and, most importantly, can give you the advice to get through it, no matter what comes along.

I am reminded of the quote from Mother Teresa, and this is a paraphrase from memory:
“Lord, help me to remember that there is nothing that can happen today, which you and I can’t handle together.”
So, why not get a head start?

Something tells me I’m not going to get to that piece of artwork, which was the original idea …

Often, I mention that people ask me for suggestions about what are the best Scriptures to read during your morning Bible study. First, I think that should be a choice of what you believe God is directing you to read and study. If you aren’t sure, how about starting with one of your favorite passages of Scripture, and allow God to lead you from there. If you will begin, and be sincere, He will lead you into what to read next.

I must say that one of my favorite books to read from, especially first thing in the morning (and the same rule would apply at night), is the Psalms. One of the reasons is that, yes, they are so good, but, most of the chapters are short, allowing you to read an entire chapter in one sitting. I know that time is critical in the morning (even more of a reason to start the day with Him), and being able to read an entire chapter just gives you a boost on its own. Plus, the messages from the Psalms, reading that David faced the same struggles which you are facing, are so encouraging.

Here’s what David wrote about this “Begin the Day” situation:
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalms 5:3). Look how early in the Psalms this word comes. Notice that it begins with “my voice,” meaning that David is beginning the day with prayer-first. He is confident that God will hear his voice, which is so important. I like the fact that, before David talks to anyone else … friends … family … neighbors … the television … the radio … the stereo … he directs his communication to God. Then, he looks up, which I can see as David, after praying to, speaking to God … he then listens … As important as it is to speak to Him, we must follow that up with listening to Him … I also like the way that David is just as confident, just as certain, that God will hear him … as he is confident, just as certain, that God will speak to him …

Now, let’s see what Jeremiah wrote about this “Begin the Day” situation:
“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22, 23).
So, God’s mercies are made new-to us-every morning. Hey-That even includes weekends!
Isn’t it great to know that we really can get a fresh start … every morning!
When I read these two verses from Lamentations, I couldn’t help but read the next two verses:
“The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him” (Lamentations 3:24, 25).
How much do I love the fact that God is good to those who seek Him … who hope in Him.

When I think about what makes Christians different from the world, and how those we know, who are “in the world” handle the tough things which life throws at all of us, I think of this verse. It is because, as Christians, we have hope. Hope which the world just doesn’t have. Just knowing that we know the One who holds the future … and, holds us … makes all the difference “in the world.”

As the old saying goes, “I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.” I can hold onto that hope, my hope, by holding on to Him. When we think of the future, often, we think of things a long way off. I need His help to get through today!

If I can start the day off right … then, I’ve gotten off to the right start … and, I like my chances … As long as I keep Him near me every moment of every day.

Just yesterday morning, after I had a tough “day before,” which would involve me thinking much about the future … As I was praying, speaking to God about the situation, God broke through my prayer, and gave me, spoke to me, quoted to me, a particular verse, from Philippians. The meaning was clear, and I would study the passage for my morning Bible study. It spoke directly to me about the future, and God’s place in it. Immediately, God’s peace flooded my entire being, and, I’m not worried or anxious about this particular situation anymore. In fact, I won’t worry about this particular situation ever again.

This is another example of why it is so important to “Begin the Day” the right way.
By speaking to … listening to … the One who holds today, and all of my tomorrows.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

Posted in GUEST POSTS, HEROES OF THE FAITH, HISTORY CHANNELS

Guest Post: Hymn History: Thomas Dorsey, “The Father of Gospel Music” From Lights 4 God Blog

Monday, July 1st, marks the birthday of Thomas Dorsey, who wrote “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and “Peace in the Valley.” Our friends over at the Lights4God blog shared the biography of Thomas Dorsey with us, and we’d like to share it with you. It is a remarkable story, with great words of comfort arising from great sorrow, and how God’s call remains, even while we are chasing worldly pursuits … I’m also reminded, again, of how important being raised in a Godly home is …

Thomas Dorsey was born in Villa Rica, GA, (Yeah Villa Rica!!! We’ll return there next month!). I was there at the ceremony, when they dedicated the Historical Marker in Thomas Dorsey’s honor, in Villa Rica, back in 1994.
Here are the words on the Historical Marker, taken from Wikipedia:

Marker text
Thomas A. Dorsey historical marker

THOMAS A. DORSEY

Father of Gospel

Thomas Andrew Dorsey, composer of over 400 blues and gospel songs, lived here following his birth in Villa Rica on July 1, 1899. At Mt. Prospect Baptist Church he was exposed to shape-note singing and at home learned to play a used pump organ, experiences he said “sprang” his career. The young blues pianist moved to Chicago in 1919 in the Great Migration.

Dorsey wrote the world’s most popular gospel-blues song after his wife and newborn son died unexpectedly on August 26 and 27, 1932. That song, Take My Hand, Precious Lord has been translated into 32 languages. Aretha Franklin recorded Take My Hand, Precious Lord in 1956, the same year Tennessee Governor Frank Clement recited it. It became the anthem of Fannie Lou Hamer’s Mississippi Summer. Dorsey’s friend, Mahalia Jackson, sang it at Martin Luther King, Jr’s funeral. Elvis Presley’s recording of Dorsey’s second-most-popular gospel song, Peace in the Valley, sold millions of copies.

For a while, any new gospel-blues song, regardless of who wrote it, was called a “Dorsey” until Dorsey himself coined the name “gospel”. Dorsey died in Chicago on January 23, 1993.

022-8 GEORGIA HISTORIC MARKER 1994
Historical information

This historical marker sits alongside U.S. Hwy 78 because the actual house Dorsey was born in has been gone a long time. Dorsey’s home was approximately 1/4 mile NNW of the marker’s location. The Mt. Prospect Baptist Church building Dorsey learned music in has also been gone a long time although the church itself is still an active part of the Villa Rica community.

Now, please enjoy the guest post from the Lights4God blog. Here’s a direct link:
THOMAS DORSEY | Lights 4 God.