Sunday, October 26, 2008

You Might Be From Memphis,Tennessee!

1. You might be from Memphis if there were at least 1 person on your street with chickens, or a clothesline in the back yard! (How are you going to expose my underclothes to the whole neighborhood Grandma?)

2. You might be from Memphis if you thought that your cousins, or your family was rich because they moved to Westwood, Raleigh, or Whitehaven back in the day!

3. You might be from Memphis if you remember Michael Jackson, and the Jackson Five coming to the Southgate Shopping Center and having to stand on the roof for the crowd!

4. You might be from Memphis if everybody on your street got new clothes for The Fourth of July!

5. You might be from Memphis if you remember going to see the new Black Exploitation Film at The Malco Downtown, The Old Daisy, The New Daisy, The Bellevue Drive-In, or The Southwest Twin Drive In!

6. You might be from Memphis if you stayed next door to someone that had their grandparents living with them, and you heard the names Madear, Big Momma, Big Daddy, or Poppa called daily.

7.You might be from Memphis if you remember church never ending on Sundays, because after the welcome is over, and that welcome is accepted by the visiting church, and after the first offering, and the A&B Selection from Your Church’s Choir, and after your church’s choir gave up the choir stand to the visiting church’s choir for their A&B selections, and after the Gospel Message has gone forth, and after the invitation to Christ has been extended, and after one last offering is taken up you still had 2 more evening programs to go to and do the very same thing!

8. You might be from Memphis if you ever heard that The Greasy Man, The Boogie Man, The Black Man, or Bloody Mary, or Crazy Juanita came out at night at your neighborhood Park!

9. You might be from Memphis if your teacher asked you your place of birth at school, and you said John Gaston!

10. You might be from Memphis if you remember Officer Friendly coming to your school to talk about safety!

11.You might be from Memphis if your remember your parents sewing those ridiculous glow in the dark patches on your articles of clothing so people can see you at night when they knew that you had to be in by the time the first street light came on!

12. You might be from Memphis if you remember Sonny King, Rocky Johnson, and if Jerry Lawler, Jackie Fargo, Bill Dundee, Plowboy Frazier, and Lance Russell where your heroes!

13. You might be from Memphis if you remember eating at The Harlem Houses, or having eaten at The Mahalia Jackson Restaurant!

14. You might be from Memphis if you ever remembered riding the 4 Walker, or The 31 Crosstown.

15. You might be from Memphis if you remembered shopping at Sears Crosstown, Southland Mall, or The Southgate Shopping Center and being snooty because of it!

16. You might be from Memphis if you remember the Fireman’s Strike, The Blackouts, and the Curfew back in the day!

17. You might be from Memphis if your parents graduated from BTW, Douglas, Melrose, and Manassas back in the day!

18. You might be from Memphis if you remember shopping at Jones Big Star!

19. You might be from Memphis if you remember The Hot Tamale Man, and you stopped regularly to spend money with him!

20. You might be from Memphis if you thought that since you were straight that you couldn’t go in The Gay Hawk Restaurant!

21. You might be from Memphis if you ever remember getting mad after arriving at a local restaurant and discovering that the Saints of The Church of God in Christ made it there before you did!

22. You might be from Memphis if you remember your parents shopping downtown at Shainberg’s, Woolworth, Woolco, Goldsmith’s, Kent’s, and The Infamous Shainberg Basement!

23. You might be from Memphis if you remember visiting any of these back in the day clubs, J Max, Mr. B’s, Club 2001, Club Paradise, Club No Name, Club Expo, Mitch’s, Club Rosewood, Club Unique, Club Illusion, Raiford’s (When It Was Really Rough), or The Hawaiian Isle!

24. You might be from Memphis if you even remember Dave’s Skating Rink, or The Hippodrome Skating Rink!

25. You might be from Memphis if you really thought That Boss Ugly Bob was as ugly as a gorilla sucking on a lemon!

26. You might be from Memphis if you remember having to watch Hee Haw, The Lawrence Welk Show, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, The Carol Burnett Show, and (God Forbid) The Porter Waggoner Show because you had no other options!

27. You might be from Memphis if you remember bragging that Isaac Hayes, The Barkays, Con Funk Shun, Anita Ward, and Clair Ford were all from Memphis!

28. You might be from Memphis if you remember Isaac Hayes’ Cadillac being parked in front of Stax Recording Studios on McLemore back in the day!

30. You might be from Memphis if you were ever threatened with, or heard someone complain about Judge Turner at Juvenile Court!

31. You might be from Memphis if you remember The Still and Bill Show!

32. You might be from Memphis if you ever saw Rufus Thomas out in the public and you nudged your relatives to let them know there’s Rufus Thomas! Was he our greatest star back in the day?

33. You might be from Memphis if you ever tried to do any of the ridiculous dances The Gangster Walk, The Funky Chicken, or The Buck!

34. You might be from Memphis if you remember as a Memphis Sports Fan any of the following: John Gunn, Dexter Reed, Alvin Wright, James Bradley, Masterblaster, Blue Shoes Bates, Ron Huery, Doom Haynes, Steve Mitchell, Curtis Green, Don Rubin, Ben Henrix, Glyniss Turner, Peeky Hollowell, Dr. Bubba, The Hawking Fudge, The Twins Lloyd and Floyd, or Tree Washington!

35. You might be from Memphis if driving through Vodoo Village was big entertainment for your family!

36. You might be from Memphis if you were bold enough to tell tourists from around the world that are here for the Elvis Festivities the following, “Man I’ve lived here for 40+ years and I’ve never been to Graceland!” (Oops I had Better Stop Telling on Myself on This One)

37. You might be from Memphis if you heard the following words or phrases used on the regular: Even Not, Screet, Eeerbody, Scrawberry, Scrimps, Finto,Bousto, Y’all, Cunstandly-(Not Constantly), Mane-(Not Man), Flat Foot-(Never Understand This One: Such as Man That Man Flat Foot Shot Them Out: Note Why Did He Have To Be Flat Footed While Doing So?), and the memorable Memphis City School’s Lunchroom Question, “Do You Want Your Baghetti?”

38. You might be from Memphis if you ever remembered just how great those school day butter cookies were! How did they make those things so good?

39. You might be from Memphis if you ever remembered being ashamed to use those loud yellow free lunch cards that was designed for the kids in the free lunch program! Could they have made this any more humiliating?

40. You might be from Memphis if you remember those horrible black and white photos that you parents forced you to take at The Mid South Fair!

41. You might be from Memphis if you remember that the old student bus cards back in the day would let a brother, or a sister ride all day long for less than a dollar!

42. You might be from Memphis if you heard a brother that was proud to be called a mack in the hood say one of the following prhases, Say Say Can I Holla At You, Pssst, Pssst Miss Lady/Miss Lady You Got a Minute, Red Bone, Red Bone, or Red Red! Man those days had to be humiliating for the sisters!

43. You might be from Memphis if you remember how rightly seasoned the food was in The Four Way Grill was, yet the unfortunate thing was that the rightly seasoned food didn’t come in a rightly portion. Why was I still hungry when I left back in the day?

44. You might be from Memphis if your church picnic was at Fuller Park, Martin Luther King Park, Maywood, Edmund Orgill Park, or hopefully not Bellevue Park, or Glenview Park!

45. You might be from Memphis if you took part in The Memphis Park Commission’s Summertime Free Lunch Program, and you ran at least one time when someone yelled, “Lunch Truck!”

46. You might be from Memphis if you mother ever sent you to a Memphis City School with grease on your face because the family didn’t have any lotion!

47. You might be from Memphis if you remember your school took 2 hours out of your school day to show Brian’s Song! I can see Billy Dee crying over the death of Brian Piccalo now!

48. You might be from Memphis if you remember all of the hood names for our neighborhood’s such as The Garden for Lemoyne-Owen Gardens, Binghamp or The Hamp for The Binghampton Community, Werewood Where if It’s Not From the Wood It Must Not be No Good for The Westwood Community, Scutta for The Scutterfield Community, or The Mound for the Orange Mound Community. I will not even go into some of the names of the neighborhoods in The Third Street Corridor!

49. You might be from Memphis if you ever danced to Sonny D, Ray the J, or a Spanish Fly Mix Tape! You were also Black in Memphis if you ever encountered anyone wearing more than one beeper at a time! I once saw a guy with 5 beepers on was business just that good?

50. You are certainly from Memphis if you ever responded to the ridiculous almost advocating drug dealing Getting Away With the Medicine Rap Song with the name of your neighborhood such as

Lemoyne Gardens Getting Away With the Medicine
Orange Mound Getting Away With the Medicine
Hyde Park Getting Away With the Medicine
New Chicago Getting Away With the Medicine
Indian Hills Getting Away With the Medicine
Westwood Getting Away With the Medicine
Boxtown Getting Away With the Medicine
Bethel Grove Getting Away With the Medicine
Bunker Hill Getting Away With the Medicine
Klondike Getting Away With the Medicine
Dixie Homes Getting Away With the Medicine
Castalia Getting Away With the Medicine
The Foot Homes Getting Away With the Medicine
The Clayborn Homes Getting Away With the Medicine

I’m sorry that last one almost took me B. C.-Namely Before Christ!

God Blocked It!

Kurt Carr and The Kurt Carr Singers Sing God Blocked It in Memphis,Tennessee!

Think of how many things that God has blocked from prevailing over us! Yes God Blocked It, and he will block many of the fiery darts that are to come our way on down the road!

Are We Living in a Day of Pretty Men and Hard Working Women?

Are We Living in a Day of Pretty Men and Hard Working Women? Has the script been reversed? Let's return to the discarded values of the past!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Derrick Rose is the Man!

Derrick Rose is the Man! Derrick Rose pours in 30 as the Bulls come back to beat the Mavericks 109-105.

It's only the preseason, but Rose is NBA Ready!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Praying that We Will Avert the Next Civil War!

I'm Praying that We Will Avert the Next Civil War! This election has indeed been a groundbreaking event. There has been so much enthusiasm on both sides of the aisle as the reality that either the first Black, or the first Woman will soon grace the Executive Branch of our Government. This is a hard fought election, yet I feel like I am now hearing the sounds of discontent, the likes of which I have never heard before. The gap between the haves, and the havenots in this land is ever widening. Isn't it amazing that the average CEO of a major corporation now earns 262 times the average wages that his workers earn. The net worth of the richest 400 Americans in this land, is greater than the net worth of the next 150,000,000 Americans combined. Is there some form of universal injustice afoot here?

Well I am not trying to be a deep wonder on this one, but I feel like we are now sitting on a powder keg that is getting ready to blow. The winds of discontent in this land are so great. We have Black vs. White, Rich vs. Poor, and the winds of discontent are blowing ever so strongly as it relates to class in this land. I know so many that are so frustrated with the direction that our nation seems to be heading in. Are we entering an era that the level of discontent could launch us into a new Civil War? What can we do to avert it? If things don't go right on November 4 and this election somehow becomes a contested one, will we see revolt in our streets? We can not deny that there is extreme division in our land, and it doesn't take the firing of guns for us to enter into what some would call the New Civil War. Are we heading into a poor man's anarchy soon? Should we soon expect to embrace the next Civil War? Should the Church be on it's knees right now? Are we praying, or are we campaigning?

It is indeed amazing that The Body of Christ is so divided during this election. Nearly every prominent white televangelist has sent any black preacher that supports the Democratic Candidate to Hell. Why is the church so judgmental on this issue? How is my excitement over the Presidential Prospects of Senator Obama tantamount to me being an apostate of the Faith? Are the Mainstream White Churches of our land the only churches that possess the proper discernment as it relates to this election? Has the Black Church went to Hell in a Hand Basket? Well I beg to differ with either of those premises, because the Black Church has been vigilant on nearly every social issue in the last 50 years. We are not Hell Bound for supporting Senator Obama, and we will not fall for the Karl Rove tricks this time!

Many of the preachers on Trinity Broadcasting Network are becoming mini surrogates of the McCain Campaign. It is truly sickening for so many of them to have so much arrogance to pass judgment on Black America for being excited about Senator Obama! Well as ardently as they are trying to send the Black Church to Hell, they should sweep around their own front doors, and calm many of the loons we see at some of the McCain/Palin Rallies? The Church should be praying instead of judging! Let's pray that the church does its job in this land, and maybe we can avert another Civil War in our land!

Respectfully Submitted,

Pastor Stephen F. Smith

Friday, October 17, 2008

Can I Get a Ticket Out of the Land of Regret?

Can I Get a Ticket Out of the Land of Regret? How many times have we found ourselves reflecting on how we would reverse a decision, or an action of ours from the past? How many times have we almost looked up to Heaven itself, and boldly exclaimed, “If I Had It All to Do Over Again?” Regret has so often painfully affected so many of us. It is so amazing that the mind will replay certain events of days gone by over and over again. Regret is a constant adversary for many individuals than span virtually every spectrum of life. One may appear to be a smashing outward success, while all the while that same individual is waging a daily warfare against Regret. How many of us want to go back into time and change some of the awful decisions that we may have made in life?

Regret is a major contributor to depression, and many other mental disorders. People of Faith have not been exempt from feeling the effects of Regret. While many of us serve a God that has forgiven us of our every sin, we often times still find ourselves languishing in the Land of Regret. Why don’t we readily embrace the clean slate that our loving Heavenly Father has given us, instead of us focusing on the many disasters of our past? Are we trying to be The Masters of Our Own Fate, or The Captains of Our Own Souls? Are we delving into a dangerous type of self worship by feeling that we are infallible beings who shouldn’t have made a bad decision?

How many times can one reflect how they may have treated another individual in the past, and then be left to wonder what if I had done better by this person? I remember one weekend that I had that little still small voice whisper in my ear to go visit my grandmother, and I thought to myself that I would visit her during the first part of the next week. My grandmother passed away that weekend, and I missed a wonderful opportunity to see my loving grandmother in the land of the living one more time. I also remember that my grandfather was in the hospital in the late 80’s and I missed coming to visit him one Sunday because I was so involved in some things at the college that I was attending. Well that was the last day that my grandfather shared any conversations with anyone before he passed away. While I greatly loved each of these individuals I missed tremendous opportunities to spend some vital time with each, and I was left with regret over each of these incidents.

How about the many bad decisions that many of us have made at that good job, or opportunity that we had because we either got angry, or things didn’t go our way? Missed opportunities, damaged interpersonal relationships, and shattered dreams are often the consequences of bad decisions. I submit that as much as many of us desire to be time travelers, one can’t just board a ship that is readily equipped for time travel to the past. Regretting one’s bad decisions can torment one’s life for years. Can we escape the Land of Regret? Is there any hope for the pains that we feel subsiding any time soon? Are some of our trips back down memory lane loaded with feelings of despair over our many missed or ruined opportunities?

How many marriages, and relationships have been ruined by the bad decisions of one of the participants of that union? Why is time so slippery when one wants to grasp time by its handles, and reverse the ill effects of one’s bad decisions? Since we are all fallible beings we all will make mistakes, and we all will sometimes lose things that were precious to us because of our bad decisions. Does it hurt any less when one has to suffer the effects of a bad decision? I humbly submit that it will not hurt any less sometimes. Time has away of healing many of these wounds sometimes, but even with time some are still battling an almost daily trip to The Land of Regret. Many of us spend time replaying, and almost daydreaming about how great things would have been if we had just made the right decision. Lord just let me have that moment back! Lord Why Didn’t I Do It Different? These are all war cries of many that languish in The Land of Regret.

The Apostle Paul writes in Phillipians 3:13 and 3:14-Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul admitted that the one thing that he had a grip on, was his ability to let go of the past, and move forward into the future. He didn’t let himself become a prisoner of the Land of Regret. He accepted that the Past Was Past, and no matter how much it hurt him he made the decision to embrace his present, and his future. Should we not follow the example of Paul? Would many of the great losses of our pasts coincide with what God intended for us from the beginning? Are we living in The Land of Regret over something that God never intended for us any way? Don’t stay in The Land of Regret, God has so much more in store for you. I humbly submit that God has more in store for you than you could have ever lost. Once and for all let’s turn our backs on, and let’s arrange a ticket out of the Land of Regret!

Regret is basically fear in overalls. How can we face a limitless God in the days to come, while we are still crying over spilled milk from days gone by? God has so much more for you, than you could have ever lost in the past!

Respectfully Submitted,
Pastor Stephen F. Smith

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears? Oh My!

Lions and Tigers and Bears? Oh My! We are living in tumultuous times where every day seems to be laden with its own dose of drama, and disappointment. I have never seen a day in the 4+ decades that I have been on this earth where so many are gripped by fear. For those of us who are so driven by today’s 24/7 barrage of daily media, I will boldly state that we are now living in a day where fear is the order of the day! The economic ills of our land have so many panicking over the possibility that an entire lifetime’s worth of savings just might go down the drain in the days to come. The medical communities of our land are noting a rising spike in the amount of cases of depression, panic attacks, and other mental disorders. One would be remiss to not admit that we are now living in challenging times.

Isn’t it totally amazing that many of us are in the midst of feeling much like Dorothy did in The Wizard of Oz when she realized that the new land that she had come to know was not Kansas by a long shot? How did we get here? Did we miss this onslaught because we were so caught up with the hustle and bustle of today’s fast-paced lifestyles? Is there a way out of this mess that we are now in? Would the only solutions to the ills of this day, be those presented by the candidates of our political parties? Where does one go when one simply wants to scream? Does anyone know how deep-seated the pain is that many are dealing with? Where is God in all of this mess? Has God forgotten us? All of these are questions that many are asking!

My Brothers, and My Sisters, I am highly cognizant that we are living in a day that has many of the greatest challenges of our age. We face so many challenges from so many different corners that sometimes it would seem that it is just too much to keep up with it all. Well I want to let you know that God is yet on the Throne! God is called a very present help in times of trouble in Psalm 46:1. God is and should be our only true refuge in a day where the Tsunami-Scale Winds of Fear and Calamity are blowing so greatly. I want you to know that we as believers are not sailing on a sinking ship! You are not on a losing team! I would submit that we are now traveling into unchartered territory, but there is no reason at all to be swayed by fear.

The Holy Writ states in 2nd Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. It is indeed mind-boggling how many of the scriptures in the Holy Writ can so soothe a troubled mind. God has not gives us the spirit of fear that so permeates the day in which we now live. He has nothing to do with the spirit of this age that has some so messed up that they would put a shoe on their head, and a hat on their feet. It is God’s intent that those who are called by his name would prosper and be in health, not only as it relates to their material lives, but also as it would relate to their peace of mind. Peace of Mind is one of the rarest commodities in our age. People are seeking peace of mind through the bottle, illicit sex, and the use of prescription drugs, liquor, and the dope man. Where can one go for a little peace of mind? Does anyone know how much it costs? I know that I have heard that God can make a way, but why hasn’t God made a way for me yet?

I know that we can defeat the spirit of this age by trusting, and believing in The Word of God. None of today’s challenges has taken the Word of God by surprise. The disappointments, and trials of today were foretold in The Holy Writ so long ago. We are even admonished to realize as the Psalmist extolled in Psalm 30:5 that Weeping May Endure for a Night, but Joy Cometh in the Morning. Our trials and pains will not be here forever. Disappointment, Distress, and Fear are not the permanent cards that any of us have been dealt in life. We serve a God that relishes in the Prosperity of his servants. I am not talking about Bling, Jets, Yachts, or the trinkets that so many in this world have come to lust after. However; God is concerned about your general well being and the daily needs that you need met. God is even interested in giving you the very desire of your heart if you delight yourself in him. How does one delight oneself in God?

Delight oneself in the Lord would mean that one would not spend hour upon hour watching television, and then only spend five minutes a week outside of Church studying the Word of God. The Word of God is essential if one needs a guide to weathering the storms of this day. The Word of God has stood the test of time, and it is the only offensive weapon mentioned in Ephesians 6 where we are admonished to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The Word of God is called the Sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6. The Word of God is the only true offensive weapon that a believer has in this day of fear mongering. I wholeheartedly believe that if we are to defeat the spirit of fear in the day that we live in it will be with the Word of God. When we are told on a daily basis that recession, and depression are right around the corner for our land, would it not stand that more than ever we should hold on to the truths espoused in God’ Word? Can the God of the Bible bring us out of the mess that we are now in?

The Scriptures record that the God is no respecter of persons. God didn’t favor the sages of old more than he favors you, and I. The same way that God showed up in lion’s dens, fiery furnaces, prisons, horrible pits, in the midst of famine, in the miry clay, and in the midst of a stormy sea for those who took up his Holy causes in the Bible, he is ever ready and willing to do the same for us. God can deliver in this day because he is a present help. I would not be as excited about witnessing to others about the goodness of God if I believed that God’s deliverances were for days gone by. God is still a deliverer! In a day of escalating change, and distortion, The Word of God is the one constant that is not subject to change. Heaven and Earth may both pass away, but the Word of our God will stand forever. Should we not invest our attention to the one blessed constant in life?

While so many will be caught up with the lions, tigers, and bears of this age as Dorothy and Her Crew of Misfits were in their trek to locate The Wizard of Oz. Will we have to resolve to trust God during the most trying of times? These trying times are trying for each of us, but they are not trying for our God who has already declared the end from the beginning. While we are pondering so often to figure out viable solutions to the ills of our world, our God has already worked each and every concern that we may have out! Don’t let fear’s icy clutch grip you, and keep you from reaching for God’s Best. God has already prepared us a way of escape from the many lions, tigers, and bears that this age will present us with. Oh My!

Respectfully Submitted,

Pastor Stephen F. Smith


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is the NBA Ready For Derrick Rose?

Is the NBA Ready For Derrick Rose? Excuse some of the language in this clip, but the clips of Derrick Rose are incredible!

CDR Looks Great in First NBA Preseason Game!

CDR Looks Great in First NBA Preseason Game!These highlights were of the rookie Chris Douglas-Roberts during the NBA Europe Live Tour, and the NBA Preseason Game between the Nets and the Heat in Paris. CDR had 18 points.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

When the Outlook is Gloomy, the Uplook is Glorious!

When the Outlook is Gloomy the Uplook is Glorious! In the midst of crazy economic times, we must be resolute to trust God more than ever. Isn't it truly amazing that those who have totally put their trust in things have really had their entire world rocked? When one puts his or her trust in things that are temporal one is doomed to suffer disappointment after disappointment. I submit to you that despite the gloomy financial forecasts that are being given out every day, that God is a Restorer, and he can give us back everything that the devil has stolen from us. Let's trust in Jesus and Take Everything Back that the devil has managed to get from us. Always remember that when the outlook is gloomy, the uplook is glorious!

I know that uplook is not a word, but this was an awesome quote from the late Bishop G. E. Patterson! God is going to richly bless all of those who seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness first! Despite a gloomy financial prognosis for our nation, we serve a God that can make a way when no other can!