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Traveling and Thinking out Loud with the People's Pastor Monday-Friday January 2-6, 2023

Monday, January 2, 2023

Monday was a holiday for some people, for us, it was a workday. There was time with LJ Digital Solutions, to go over the agenda for the day and for the week. A lot will be happening during this week and in the coming weeks. There was a piece of information that came my way. I can’t tell from whence it came whether social media or word of mouth, but I think it’s worth repeating to the best of my recollection. It was experts or scientists who are saying that staying hydrated – consuming a lot of liquids can slow down the aging process.

Does it mean only water? I’m not sure that it has to be water. But it has to be similar to water, not sugary drinks. It can be fresh fruit or vegetables, in addition to researchers recommending water, I think. I mention it so that you can do your own study. If you want to slow down aging, the research may be helpful to you.

I took considerable time making telephone calls wishing Happy New Year and returning calls. So, we were ready to start the New Year.

This came as a surprise, it seemed to me. Maybe it should not have been, but at least I know water helps to cleanse the system. So much of our sickness and therefore our aging comes from our clogged-up system. Someone has said, “the problem with the world is that too many people are constipated.”

I have another way of saying it, we are even conduits or cloggers. If we are obeying the universal principle of receiving (food items, including liquids) we should be experiencing an easy movement of our bowels. In the large context, what we receive should go through us to sustain other forms of life. But if we are cloggers we try to hold everything inside. Thus, we disrupt the universal principle of taking in and giving out and we will pay dearly for our clogging. Remember, the castor oil when we were children, or some other methods that our wise parents used to “cleanse us out”. So we need to ask ourselves in our approach towards life are we conduits or cloggers. Our state of health mentally, physically and spiritually will give us the truth.

I watched Monday Night football as I usually do. I was deeply saddened to see a young football player Damar Hamlin injured making a tackle. He had to be given CPR on the field and taken from the field in an ambulance to the hospital. Everything stopped, everyone, and I believe everywhere, people paused to pray.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Protest at the City Council Meeting

After completing our administrative work, in the evening I attended the Community Englewood, NJ Council meeting. The community was protesting for a young man named Bernard Placide Jr. who was killed in his own house by a police officer. The officer, according to the information that was circulating, was being promoted to detective.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

After my morning ritual of prayer, exercise I headed to Jersey City. One of our members was having an operation. It had been my practice when I was the National Bishop to arrive at the hospital before my member(s) was to be operated upon. Of course we would do the usual prayers before the operation. I believe it was the Lord’s doing that led me to this practice. I think that it was a part of the healing process to be there.

I always thought that when the member entered the hospital and saw me waiting there that it brought a chemical reaction or changes in their body was therapeutic. However, when I arrived at the hospital this morning, I discovered that the date had been changed, hence, I returned home.

Preparing for typing assistant

I have two typing assistants, one at 10-11am another is at 1-2pm. Both were absent. One, was absent due to a member of the family being hospitalized. Obviously, we spent time usually given to our work in prayer.

I try to follow the example of Jesus. No matter how many masses of people that He addressed, no matter what station in life they occupied, Jesus was always available. No, more than that, He put himself in the life of individuals who had some need. And, what is most important, the individuals for whom he left the crowd could be the least in society. But, it could be a VIP. The point is, His ministry to the masses did not negate his ministry to an individual in need.

Later today, I met with my other typing assistant who was absent for another reason.

Here is my post about the previous day:

“Last night, 1/3 I attended the Englewood Council Meeting to support the family of Bernard Placide, a 22 year old Black male. He was shot to death in his own home by a White female police officer. There have been many meetings, marches and rallies. The community became furious when it learned that the officer who shot Bernard was promoted. The city said the officer has not been promoted but reassigned.

The Council meeting was packed, two deep standing room only. Former police chief Scott Jenkins. One of the key organizers, Rick another organizer, veteran organizer Lawrence Hamm, members NAN and the family of Bernard were some of the leaders present and made statements.

It was a long, occasional disorderly meeting. Most of the speakers disregarded the two minutes rule. In my remarks, I emphasized how insensitive, unreal it was to promote or reassign an officer who killed someone, in the most suspicious circumstances. It is the history of police relations with the Black Community. Police Officers blatantly kill Black People, even children and women, and they are usually found not guilty. I pointed to Natacha Pannell, who spoke passionately about her brother’s death, Phillip Pannell was shot in the back. He was fifteen. The Community vowed to continue the protest till justice prevails!”

Thursday, January 5, 2023

We had our usual Lifeline Prayer Time. It is not only a prayer time but we also have affirmations, testimonies, discussion, what’s happening in the world and social media.

Long talk with Councilman Charles Barron

I had a lengthy talk with the Councilman Barron. Mr. Barron had been one of my primary assistants and Chairman of the Harlem Black United Front (BUF). Also, when I founded the African People’s Christian Organization (APCO), he was one of the founding members and the Executive Director. As my primary assistant, he represented the organization both in the community, nationally and internationally.

We talked about some of his travels. In addition, in the early days he was our youth leader. One of his travels, that we remember so well, was to Grenada. He led a delegation of young people at which time they met the Prime Minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop. He was coordinator of our jail-going to free South Africa and Free Mandela Movement and many other issues, events, and meetings he attended.

We decided that our conversation was too important to keep to ourselves. So I invited him to be on our Timbuktu Learning Center Call (Mon- Wed). He agreed to be on Tuesday, January 17th at 7pm 716-427-1168 passcode: 604309# All are invited.

Friday, January 6, 2023

I attended our lifeline prayer, affirmations, testimonies and discussion of world events and social media posting.

I attended the African American Clergy and Elected Officials (AACEO) Meeting

It was one of the largest gatherings that I’ve seen since the early days. I decided that I would sit in the back and observe. I said to the Chairman, Dr. Robert Waterman. I would like to just sit in the rear unobserved. You need not to call me up front, which is the usual practice to sit with the dignitaries. I don’t know why I felt so strongly led to do so. People who recognized me tried to get me to come to the dais and some even went up to Dr. Waterman to inform him I was in the room.

Rev. Sharpton was the keynote speaker. I was not aware that he was going to be the speaker. When the meeting was over and all the dignitaries (and there were plenty) had departed. I went up front, escorted by Dr. Waterman, thinking that he was going to honor my request to say a few words. When he said the prayer, he tried to end the meeting. After Rev. Waterman spoke, I said a few words about history. I was deeply concerned that the minister who initiated the call to Al Vann and I wasn’t even mentioned. I seldom have heard his name mentioned. In fact, I can’t even recall hearing his name. If so, it was fleetingly mentioned. Likewise, with Assemblyman Al Vann who just recently passed.

I must confess, I may have overly emphasized the importance of history and the legacy that we leave behind. As I grow older this issue becomes increasingly important. As you know I’m 91 and will soon be 92. When I reach 92, I will say I’m 93. Some people lie going backwards, I lie going forward. It is a philosophical and psychological game I play with myself. It is a reminder that the decisions I make in the present, the things that I do in the present will shape the future. So we learn from the past, and the lessons we learn we apply in the present. And the lessons we apply in the present will shape the future.

Thus, I hope you and the people with whom I interact will understand my concern with history. Later, I understood why I believe God was leading me to be unobserved. Throughout the time, I was there from the beginning. Not one dignitary or person on the dais mentioned my name. Yet there is no question, but had they known I was there, they would’ve had wonderful things to say about me. It reinforced the need, the imperative to do what we can so that the people who have given so much for us will not be forgotten when they no longer sit at the dais or even be physically present. I believe that we’ve got to think of ways, maybe create new ways of perpetuating the memory and not losing anything of history that could help us to be better and do better.

One person said to me “Well, we remember the people you mentioned every year and we have celebrations for them”. My response, “yes that’s what we do. We at our church have anniversaries once a year that our members who have passed on are mentioned and we do it in our organization once a year. The rest of the time people have forgotten.” So, we have to create ways that make the reminders more relevant to where we are in the present.

Another conversation that I had with one of my colleagues, Dr. Mark Taylor. He asked me if I remember a young lady who came to my church and was very troubled and I invited her into the office and we sat for two hours and neither one of us said a word.

She got up and she left and I have not seen nor heard of her since, but how could I forget the time that we spent together. Well, he said that the young lady is now a professor at a learning institution. She spoke to him about how I saved her life. She said she was in a terrible place, suffering from a terrible experience. She was blaming God for everything. She said the time we spent helped to restore her faith and get through the traumatic experience to which she was having.

I said, Wow, what lessons are in that encounter? Do we always need to use verbal language to convey our concern? Do we always need to try to engage in conversation to show our interests? The question is, is there a way we can communicate on a deeper spiritual level?

This story should encourage all of us who are doing good things. We never know the impact of what we are doing, only God knows. There is a song that one of the great ministers of our church used to sing. Her name was Minister Alice Edwards, the sister of Peggy Washington and Minister Linwood Smith. She used to sing,‘May the work I've done speak for me!

‘May the work I've done speak for me! When I'm resting in my grave, There is nothing that can be said. May the work I've done speak for me! May the life I live speak for me! When the best I try to live, My mistakes He will forgive. May the life I live speak for me! May the service I give speak for me! When I've done the best I can, And my friends don't understand. May the service I've given speak for me! All that I've done, The service I have given, And the life I have lived, May all seem small, But when I stand before my God, I want to hear him say, "well done." May the life I live speak for me.’

I think there are going to be some big surprises when we get to heaven - let me add a little humor. I heard somebody say, there are going to be three big surprises when we get to heaven:

1. We’re going to be surprised there will be people that we thought would make it.

2. There will be people that we thought would make it, but did not.

3. And the biggest surprise of all, we will be there.

I guess it can be summed up in a sentence, the universal principle is that the love you send out will return to you in more that you sent. What we send out we get back with interest.

I have not been able to get this young lady off my mind since I had my conversation with Dr. Taylor.


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