Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Lent Challenge

alright kiddies. What's it gonna be this year? Share your sacrifice with us

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Proctor Day 2: A Questionable Ethic

I don't want to spend too much time leading in this topic, so I'll just go there. Suffice it to say, today was a good day and one that yielded a number of questions. Here are a couple of my actual notes that I'll share with you:

-Do these people know how much a lobbyist cost?
-Can we pool resources?
-Including from folks we disagree with?
-Can the lobbyist be a young person?
-Youth Ministry and Prison Ministry (write about the parallels)

et cetera...So you can see that the brain has been working hard. In a social justice conference for black ministers I've had to work through my own definition of Justice, my sincere appreciation yet concern for prophetic tradition, and how an ethics analysis is necessary at every level of ministry (ask me about this the next time you see me). Ethics makes my bones tingle, so you'll understand why I had some questions about a certain part of tonight's service.

Jeremiah Wright Jr. preached tonight and he was awesome; talked about Unity (ethical). BEFORE THIS HOWEVER, there was two hours of service (unethical) which included an offering that lasted about...well...too long. Included in this offering was a call for $20,000 (c. COGIC) which, after little response (I mean, they did ask everyone to give $1,000 yesterday; seminarians could give up to $100. I gave NOTHING jack)...anyway...after little response they announced that they would swipe credit cards.

Credit Cards.

Nobody said much of anything during the service, which got me to wondering: Isn't this ethic at least questionable? Why is nobody storming out of the tent (yes, tent revival) proclaiming their prophetic witness? Doesn't this sound a bit like the Megachurch CEO's that these folks are essentially condemning? Credit cards? $20,000?

Is this questionable? For some I believe NO, it was just fine. But if it is, oh prophets and lovers of justice, why didn't anyone at least ASK THE QUESTION? Why didn't at least ONE of the hundreds of pastors in the room stand up and say "Isn't this questionable?" Were they afraid to stand out and cause distress? Why not just stand up and leave? Or do something, anything but WATCH. That is, if this is problematic.

FORGET theological language, for me this is an issue because of the psychological, emotional, and social manipulation of humans. It's an exercise of the coercive power of the pulpit (the downside of any charismatic tradition). And folks are going on this. I wasn't in the room when this happened, but I SWEAR it's irking me, I'm confused about the room's response, and deep down I know this "prophetic begging" is wrong.

And I never call anything WRONG. My .02. Dive in anywhere

Monday, February 16, 2009

Proctor Day 1: What's your PREACHER name?

St. Petersburg for a lot of reasons reminds me of Godfather II. Lots of palm trees and Hyman Roth figures with their shirt off. It's funny because, even as I type, I wonder whether I'm Roth or Corleone in this shot (on the beach, Roth. During these meetings, Corleone for sure. I love his face in that shot)

But no matter, it's February and I'm on the beach turning into dark meat, refueling my vocabulary for social justice and breaking bread with um...the best preachers on the planet. Hale, Haynes, Wright, Fullner, cetera.

Got me to thinking about the Black Church and those southern preachers (my roommate is from Mi-CrookedLetterCrookedLetter-I). You know the ones, who eventually moved to Chicago (we're all from MS or LA)...the C.T. Vivian and T.D. Jakes of the world. Why do those names sound so cool?

Because they're preacher names. Easily the best names on the planet. IT'S TIME TO BRING BACK PREACHER NAMES. Here's how you figure out your preacher name.

1. Take the first and middle initials and combine them with your last name.
2. Add "the Third". For some reason, always THE THIRD.

"J.M. DeShazier, III"

3. If that works for you, you're DONE. BUT, Those with out the box last names (c. DeShazier) have permission to change their name to be more Mississippi-ly if it doesn't work. Try these:


ONLY one of these will work. If you've done it right, you'll feel yourself becoming more southern. More buttons than necessary will appear on your suit. Your hair will grow EITHER short and black, or long and permish. You will preach better.


"J.M. Sterling, III" (from Natchez, MI)

Monday, February 9, 2009



We friends are a fickle bunch. It seems like the more you know about your friend the more ammo you have (T or F?) It's called "The Clip." You used to have a clip loaded so that if you ever roasted each other you would have some good jokes. Clips used to be fun. Recently I had a clip unloaded on me about how bad a friend I've been. Yikes...I thought friends didn't hold those things against folks.


I think about the relationship between Jesus and the disciples (Friends?) and how many awesome friends I have. Sometimes we are Mercutio and Romeo, other times Brutus and Caesar (c. Shakespeare). We're all human, God knows, and given enough rope are bound to hang ourselves. When did we start taking our friends out too?

Based on all of this, how do you define "Friend" in your life? Based on your experiences, how much about your friends do you want to know (and how much should they know about you?) How many circles do you have?

Deep within this are questions of Trust and the Autonomy of the Individual (ability to be a SELF). Try not to be cynical here. You have friends. But they are like Porsches. Great to have until its time to get one fixed. In everything, maintenance is a necessity.

Again, another real convo is needed.

BANNED WORDS: Associate, any version of "Keep your friends close...", etc.

Let's Go.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just So You Know: That '09 Mission

Pic says it all.

You wouldn't mess with me if I didn't make it plain at all instances. When '08 ended I sat down with my mentor for lunch and he spit it to me plain-pat.

Mentor: What's your resolution for '09?

J: I just want to GROW everything I have right now. I'm getting my garden on.

Mentor: Good. Watch out for these girls. You know what the '09 motto is right?

J: (laughing) no...

Mentor: "CLOSE THE DEAL." 30 is closer than 20 for most of the women you know. It was '93 for me. Every girl you know is getting ready to close the deal. Don't be suprised if a lot of your relationships change...or end.


I came home and told my people, and to my shock got the TOTAL CO-SIGN. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, knowing that the Promised Land is "somewhere ahead." After a few years in the desert, you start thinking, "So, about this Promised Land." All of a sudden kicking it loses the luster it once had. You want to lay up and listen to them James Ingram, Aaron Abernathy playlists you MADE. You get to asking folks about their credit score. I know the deal.

I think about it like "Back to the Future", where the picture of the family starts disappearing. After a while, that dream image we had of our lives begins to look a little shaky. Time to hop in the DMC (not the DeLorean; the Date Machine Cakemobile) and save your family. All I'm saying is, folks trying to be Marty McFly in 2009.

Are you noticing this?

It's February, the love month. I'll be the bad guy, since I know the hood and its constituents are feeling me. Men and Women. Upstanding Gents and Goofs. All Children of God.

Make Carter G. smile and get real with the PM Community for a second. Tell me if you are in a relationship where you feel the vice grips being put on you. This conversation is NECESSARY for our generation. Are you ready? Is your partner? Who's applying the pressure here (games ain't that fun no more, huh)? Where does God fit in all of this?

Start anywhere. Come anonymous if you want, but do Come Real. I especially want to hear from these Marty McFly types

-and by default, those who salt on game, Biff Tannen

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1972 OperationPUSH Expo

So in reference to J's twit about my current employer the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., I did a little research and dug this one up. It's footage from Marvin Gaye's performance at the "Save the Children" concert from September of '72 at the RainbowPUSH Coalition's (then OperationPUSH) 1st annual conference. I always preface any commentary I make in reference to Rev. Jackson with "you can feel some kind of way about Rev. Jackson if you want to" (for many obvious reasons), but at one time, you couldn't deny who he was (and to many, still is) to Black America. The stock Chicago footage in conjunction with this super dope performance make's for (in my opinion) one of the dopest video/live performance montage's ever...and yea, he was bringing them out like no other at this time...Enjoy :-)