Saturday, June 26, 2010
In addition to this blog being set-up to meet one of our primary objectives, which is to "Tackle everyday issues from a godly perspective, " it is also designed to give our readers a bit of peak into my life. In our blogs we endeavor to periodically give you a candid look at some of our likes, dislikes, influences, role models, and pet peeves among other things. And, in this particular blog we've chosen to talk about a man who has truly been an influence in my entire life and life Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I recently ran across a YouTube channel called, "Speak the Truth" (www.youtube.com/jamash1914's) that has a fairly extensive video catalog of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and other famous black leaders speeches and public addresses. And, as watch the Dr. King play list I begin to reflect on my how he was one my biggest childhood influences. While other young people were memorizes lyrics to LL Cool J, Run DMC, Biggie & Jay Z lyrics I was internalizing the words one of our greatest black leaders; Dr. Martin Luther King's speeches. I even remember my official introduction to Dr. King and his speeches, I can remember watching the "King" mini series with my dad during black history month when I was a young man. And, I was intrigued by the life of this leader as well of the eloquence with which he spoke. Paul Winfield did an excellent job in playing this civil rights leader, so much so that I wanted to learn more about his life when the mini series had concluded. My dad begin to tell me more about Dr. King and he even introduced me to one of Dr. King's album's that he in his record library. The album was called; "From Montgomery to Memphis" and on one side he had his last speech, "I've Been to the MountainTop" and on the other side was one of his last sermons entitled; "The Drum Major Instinct."
And, I can remember listening to that album all the time. I had gotten to the point where I memorized both sides of the album and had even begun emulating his Southern droll and cadence from which he preached. I remember after memorizing this record that I begin searching out other writings and recordings of his to memorize as well. I purchased another album entitled, " A Knock At Midnight" which was a famous sermon that he preached regarding the plight of this country and the plight of the Negro in America. As I begin internalizing these speeches along with it came the desire to share what I had learned. And, so I begin seeking out ways to share these speeches in churches and schools within my community. I begin with my church Greater Grace Temple and the schools that I attended at the time the Greater Grace Christian Academy, Beaubien Middle School & Mumford Highschool. I spoke in assemblies and church services commemorating the life of this great African American civil rights leader. I'd gotten so good at emulating Dr.King that people started calling me "Little Martin." This became the first phase of Dr. King's influence in my life, which I would probaby called "emulation."
The second phase of Dr. King's influence in my life was moving from the realm of "emulation" into "internalization." This phase was actually looking at the words that he spoke and wrote about the Civil Rights Movement; beginning to contextualize the movement and the struggle. Attempting to understand the plight of African Americans during his time and juxtaposing this analysis with the plight of African American's today. This contrast and comparsion caused us to begin writing original speeches of our own and competing in local and national oratorical contest just as Dr. King did as a young man. One of the first oratorical contests I competeted in was the Detroit Medical Society's Oratorical Contest when I was a 10th grade student at Mumford Highschool. The topic for the competition was "Do Minorities Need a Revolution of the Mind?"
The contest took place at the earlier African American Musuem with four (4) contestants from other high schools competing for a $1000 savings bond. Before this final round of oratory, we first had to recite our speech before a preliminary panel in an earlier stage in the competition. If our speech was accepted and approved, we then moved on to the final round at the musuem. I took first place in this competition along with several others as well.
This phase of "internalization" has led to the stage where I am currently which I like to call "incorporation." This is the stage where I have now incorporated the writings, the speeches and even his approach to speaking into what we do as a speaker and minister of the gospel. I believe I am an analytical thinker like Dr. King. I too have given my life to study and self improvement and are constantly seeking out ways to share this knowledge with others. I have written several speeches myself, and again have won numerous awards and contest because of this God-given speaking ability. Not in any way trying to compare my life to his, but simply trying to illustrate the impact and influence his life has made on my life. There are certainly others that have impacted my life as well. I feel truly blessed and favored by God to have had such great examples of leadership, wisdom and success in my life and I endeavor to be a reflection of these great examples on the lives of everyone I'm able to touch in this life God has given me
My question to you is simple, who has made an impact in your life. Who are you role models? Who have you patterned you life after in one way or another? As I said earlier, I want this to be a blog where I can be a little transparent and candid with my writings. I do so because it is my hope that we can learn from one another as we travel together along this journey of adventure and inspiration. Feel free to leave your thoughts anonymously or in person, but I would like to know who some of your influencs are as well. I hope you were inspired by this little note as well learned a little more about the author. Either way I pray you are continually blessed by what you read from "The Pastor's Perspective." Be Blessed!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I preached a message a few years back during a Youth Explosion in Lexington, KY entitled, "The Transformers." The scripture text was taken from Romans the 12th chpt verses 1-2 where it reads, "I beseeched ye therefore brethren by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And, be not CONFORMED to this world but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your minds that ye might prove what is that acceptable and perfect will of God." Paul is the author of this book of Romans and in this book he had the arduous task of laying down the foundation of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to those newly saved Christians in the Church of Rome. And, whenever you are tasked with being first there is a tremendous amount of pressure placed upon you, because everyone after you will be looking at the example that you set either to follow or one not to follow. It's important to note that the Pauling Epistles, which make up 2/3rds of the New Testament books of the Bible were written to the churches that Paul founded on his missionary journeys. So, these epistles were not written to the unsaved, but they were primarily written to those who were newly saved; providing instruction to them on how to live a saved life according to the Word of God. This Church at Rome, although they were newly saved, were still engaging in the salacious and seditious ceremonies and orgies in the temple. They were living riotously and without restraint or self-control. They were newly saved, but didn't know how God would have them to live and this is where Paul came into guide them and to direct them in the way God would have them to go.
In this particulare scripture Paul opens by telling the Church at Rome to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Paul lets his audience know that once you have recieved Christ salvation through repentance of sins, baptism and the in filling of the Holy Ghost as it is outlined in Acts 2:38, then you are a new creature and your body is now a temple unto the Lord. You are to treat your physical body as such and not infect it with the posinous behavior of your past lives. You are now the property of Jesus Christ; bondservants of the Master, and your lives have now been set aside for the Masters use. In today's world, our bodies are used as tools of sexuality and promsicuity. Our bodies are used to sell products, along with everything else. And, the reason God wants us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto him is because are lives should be a outward reflection of an inward change within us. Salvation is not an exterior change, but it is an interior change that is reflected in our exterior image. This being said, the changes or the adjustments one makes in our lives as we endeavor to walk according to God's will is not a superficial change or even an outward change entirely. But, the Bible tells us that the Holy Ghost will lead us and guide us into all truth. So, the Holy Ghost will begin to lead us and guide us in every aspect of our lives, as long as we allow it to be our guide. This is how Paul opens up the 12th chapter of Romans, telling them that is now time to present your bodies to Christ as a continual example of Holy Living.
In the 2nd component of this message we dealt with the two types of individuals that I believe live in our world CONFORMERS & TRANSFORMERS! Paul directly addresses these two individual in this opening verse in chapter 12, "And be not CONFORMED to this world, but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind." The Holy Ghost comes to transform our thinking; it comes to give us a new perspective a new outlook on life. The scripture clearly states, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. old things are past away behold all things have become new." So, when Jesus died on Calvary for our sins, He endeavored for his death to make a lasting impact on our lives. He wanted His death to bridge the gap the sin had created, because of Adam & Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden. He wanted His death to equip us and empower us to die to sin, so that we can live forever with Him. Conformers are the kind of people that follow the status quo, they do whatever society is doing; they follow the trends and the fads. They are a typically viewed as followers and are a reflection of the times. But, is that what God is calling His people to be in these last and evil days? Is God looking for us to conform to the ways of this world, are is God calling for us to be more?
Everything in the Word of God explicity suggest that God wants us to be TRANSFORMERS, and He has empowered us through his Holy Spirit with the power of TRANSFORMATION. Romans 8:31, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" God has not called us out of darkness into this marvelous light to be followers but to be leaders. We have the ability to not just changed ourselves, but we have the ability to change our environments, our neighborhoods, our schools, our communities and our jobs. God's spirit that dwells inside of us is powerful enough for us to impact the world for the benefit of Jesus Christ. And this is the real definition of "Change." Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:15, " To let your light shine that men may see your good works and glorify the Father which is in heaven." It's important for those of us who have His spirit within us to project that light onto this dark world. His light in us has the power to transform darkness into light.
My question to you is how do you see yourself reflecting the light that's inside of you to change something's in your environment? What are some ways you can be a TRANFORMER for Jesus Christ?
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I've been debating about whether to write about this one or not and I guess the I's had in this case. There are so many reasons why this show is a bad idea for the City of Detroit and I wonder was any of these things considered when this show was pitched around the table of the ABC Television Network. The image of our fair city has been damaged enough through the advent of crime and violence, problems with in our school system, lack of jobs, unemployment rate is skyrocketing, problems with our Police Dept and now this. It's seems almost as if we have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the First 48 TV fiasco and now a TV drama centered around the crime in our city. When will it all end?
From one perspective you could argue that as a city we should be honored and proud that a television network like ABC would like to use our city as the backdrop for their new crime drama. I mean out of all of the city's in the country they could have chosen they decided to pick ours. And, we should be grateful. Detroit, even amidst its current trials and tribulations, is still a city with a rich history, and heritage and one that should be shared with the entire world through the medium of TV. From MoTown; with the Temptations, Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Berry Gordy and many others, to the Motorcity; Ford, GM & Chrysler, this city's story is definitely worthy of being told. And, this is certainly one argument in favor of Detroit being selected as a feature city for a new television show.
But, unfortunately there is another perspective, which is probably the closest one to the truth. And, that is none of the reasons outlined in the first perspective for Detroit being chosen as the feature city for a crime drama on a national TV network are the real reasons we were given such an honor. The name of the show itself tells you what is going to be the primary focus of the show, "Detroit 1-8-7." 187 is the numeric code for the crime of "Murder." And, by titling the show this way, you are telling everyone that watches that not only is the focus of the show, but you are indirectly saying that this is a prevailing characteristic of the featured city. I am personally insulted by the name of the show, because it is playing up the stereotype that Detroiter's have had to deal with for a long time. Detroit is the "Murder Capitol of the World," & "It's not safe to live in Detroit," are just a few of the stereotypical statements we hear periodically in our travels in and outside of the State of Michigan. It is the violent images of our city that gets front page news; it is the scandal and controversy that seems to plague our city that gets the lion share of the national news coverage. From the scandal surrounding former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to the constant violence and crime in our city.
You can tell from the trailer for the show that has surfaced on YouTube what the focus of the show is centered around. The most dilapidated, impoverished and crime infested areas of Detroit will serve as the background for the show. And, I guess if you're going to have a crime drama called Detroit 1-8-7, you are not going to Rose Dale Park, or Sherwood Forest or some of the other nicer places in the city. You're going to Mack & Bewick, Gratiot & Chareliox. I think you get my meaning. But, my question is, is that fair to the image of the city. Will people watching this show get a fair representation of the reality of our city, or will it just be another over -played stereotype that really needs to go away?
Another aspect of all of this I would like to address before I bring this post to a close, is all of this really just a stereotype of our city or is there a larger percentage of truth that maybe we as Detroiter's are not willing to accept? Yes it is not comfortable being referred to as a stereotype, but are they really just reporting the facts about the city, and we just can't handle the truth? I can recall an incident that sort of helps me to put some of this controversy into perspective about all that is going on in our city. Back on April 30th, I remember taking my family downtown to the "River Walk" behind the GM building downtown. A beautiful family park with a great deal of potential. In fact, as we were enjoying the scenery the Friday evening we were down there, it was around the time of the Dateline CBS Special that was done on our city. And, we were conversing about how this area should have been featured in this news report about Detroit, inasmuch as it seemed that the report centered around the stereotypical rather than the practical and concrete matters of our city. And as we were walking back to our car parked in a structure behind the Ren Cen, we noticed a commotion off in the distance. Young people were moving very fast towards us as if they were trying to avoid something, we inquired about what was happening and were told that it was a fight taking place. We naturally begin to move a bit faster towards our vehicle. When we get to the parking structure, just a few steps away from the car, several gun shots rang out. And, a horde of commotion ensued. It was like a scene out of NYPD Blue and we got our belongings together and our family got in the car and got out of there. My point being, this was the closest I have ever been to gun fire, let alone anyone else in my family including my two small children. And, reoccurring violence like this that takes place in the heart of our city continues to promote the stereotype we want so badly to disappear. So there is a bit of truth and hype in all of this, and Detroit must begin to exorcise its demons in order for us a city to move pass all of this.
What are you thoughts about this television show? Do you agree with our estimation of this controversy surround our city? Please leave us your thoughts and opinions on what you think should happen? Should the show be canceled before the 1st episode ever airs? I'm interested to know you thoughts.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
As you read this you're probably asking yourself, has Pastor Nimmons lost it? What biblical principle or Christian perspective can we gain from a movie as violently gruesome as Kill Bill? Well let me set your mind at ease, I haven't loss my mind, I'm still functioning at full brain capacity. LOL! But, I am a true believer that there is something spiritually significant to gain from some of the most unsuspecting of places. And, God can use anything and anybody to get His message across for the benefit of His people. We need to take the handcuffs off of God, and let God be God not just in our lives but in the lives of the world. God is not limited to our finite minds and our limited perceptions of Him, but in Isaiah the 55th chapter God declares; "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways from your ways and my thoughts from your thoughts." So I hope as you read this post you will read with an open mind, as I'm writing it as I believe God has given it to me to share with you. Let me first apologize for the length of this post. This is just an illustration of how much this movie has inspired me to wirte.
Every time I see the movie(s) Kill Bill 1 & 2 on T.V I have to watch, and not just because of the Kong Fu style killing scenes, the tremendous amount of blood and violence that is contained in this cinema presentation, but what I am most intrigued and inspired by is the resiliency and determination of the main character Beatrix Kiddo a.k.a. "The Black Mamba." Apart of an elite assassin team called the "Deadly Vipers" along with four other people (O-Ren Ishi, Venita Green, Elle Driver, Budd, & the Infamous Bill; who the movie is centered around), Beatrix Kiddo secretly leaves this group unbeknowing to everyone including Bill, who is also her boyfriend. She leaves this group upon discovering that she's pregnant with Bill's child. Upon leaving, Beatrix finds an unsuspecting young man to marry her that is completely oblivious of her past and ready to start a future with her and her unborn child. The 2nd movie opens in a bridle chapel where Beatrix and her soon to be husband are preparing to the tie the knot, when she is surprised by Bill, who she hasn't seen for sometime now. They exchange pleasantries, and Bill appears accepting of her new life and seems ready to let her go. However, a few moments later the Deadly Vipers enter the chapel (at the behest of Bill) opening fire on all those inside, including the Bride Beatrix Kiddo. And, to add insult to injury not only did they seek to kill Beatrix, but it also appeared as if they wanted to kill her unborn child as well. As Beatrix closed her eyes the last face and voice she heard standing over her blood soaked corpse was her ex-boyfriend and mentor Bill.
This should have been the end of the movie, the credit should have rolled and this very well should have been the end. But, in fact, it was actually the beginning. Because, who they thought they killed actually was not dead at all. After a four year stay in the hospital, Beatrix re-emerges deadset on exacting revenge on those that sought to kill her. The movie sets out to qualify "The Black Mamba's constant resiliency through a series of flashbacks that point to moments of her intense training and experience that contributed to the determined assassin she currently is. And, it is through this series of flashbacks that we learn more about the character and understand more about how she was trained and why she seems absolutely UNSTOPPABLE! Needless to say, after her re-emergence, revenge was the first thing on her mind. She made a list of all the members of the Deadly Viper assassin team that she was going to kill in revenge of their attempt on her life and the life her unborn child. And, so each of the movies (Kill Bill 1 & 2) chronicles the details of the revenge "The Black Mamba" exacted on each of the members of the assassin team culminating with her revengeful encounter with Bill, of which she evokes The Five Point Palm Exploding Technique. (You have to see the movie if you haven't seen it already!)
Alright, enough with the movie details and now to the heart of this post. It is the resiliency and the determination of "The Black Mamba" that was so impressive to me each time I watched this movie trilogy. You can see that determination and her will expressed in the picture I included in this blog post. With all of odds vehemently stacked against her, she surpassed and transcended these odds to get the revenge she so desperately sought after. What was even interesting to me was that the character was a woman, which is typically viewed as weak, and feeble. And, I believe Quenton Tarrantino chose a woman (Uma Thurman) for this particular character so that the resiliency and her determination would completely overshadow this gender stereotype. Because, you typically see this kind of violent and courageous display coming from the male gender, but to see it coming from the female gender; the weaker vessel, really emphasized the merits of the old adage "a woman scorned," and at what lengths she would be willing to go to get revenge. And, then coupling this with the character having to grapple with her own womanhood in the movie as well, being pregnant and having to deal with the reality of the changes her body would undergo as a result of this. So, there was a lot that Beatrix Kiddo had to experience in this movie in order for this message of revenge to really resonant with the audience. Having to go through all of this, love, betrayal, hormonal changes, near death experiences, and to still remain focused on her ultimate goal of revenge was phenomenal; "Phenomenal Woman that's Beatrix Kiddo." While I know it was the director Quentin Tarantino's intent to illustrate the Power of Revenge in this movie, what I would like to emphasize is the Power of Resilency! One of my favorite scriptures illustrates this point in II Corinthians 4:7-9, "For we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exellency of the power may be of God and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed." I tweeted a few days ago, (@PSTRNIMMONSTV) If every child of God had the resilency and determination Beatrix Kiddo had to Kill Bill, in our walk with God we would be UNSTOPPABLE!
The Biblical equivalent of a Beatrix Kiddo; in my humble opinion, is the "Woman with the Issue of Blood" in Matthew the 9th chapter. This woman had been grappling with this illness for 12 long years, and I'm sure the pain and agony of dealing with this sickness was thoroughly debilitating. Having gone to countless doctors and endured countless treatments for an ailment that just wouldn't go away. And, it would seem at some point during the 12 yr period that the illness would have garnered more strength than the woman with the illness. I'm sure it seemed, at least to her, that the illness had a greater resolve than she did. Inasmuch as nothing that anyone did could remedy her of this illness plaguing her body. But, I believe she was determined not to let it destroy her or her will. She was determined to hang on until she was able to find a cure; to find a remedy for what she was going through. What tremendous resolve; what tremendous intestinal fortitude that she demonstrated, in not letting this sickness get the best of her. And, we find in Matthew the 9th chapter that her resiliency was ultimately rewarded as she stepped out on the last bit of faith she had and pressed her way through a throng of people crowded around Jesus, so that she could but touch the hem of His garment and immediately be healed.
What is also important to note, which I believe adds even another level to her faith, is that according to Jewish custom, anyone that was sick or in this woman's case had a menstrual illness involving the flow blood was isolated and separated from the general population. They were not able to fellowship and commune with everybody, until they had been completely healed from their illness. And, she stepped out on faith, in spite of the Jewish custom, in spite of the ramifications of her illness, and in spite of the criticism that she would receive from the crowd. She pressed her way to Jesus, and because of her resiliency and her determination she got the healing that she needed.
So my question to you today, is are you willing to press your way through whatever circumstances might be in front of you, are you willing to go against what might seem to be insurmountable odds, are you willing to endure great trials and tribulations? Because it is only then that you will rewarded for your endurance, and that's the definition of a blessing. Being able to endure the trials and tribulations, which are an inevitability of this walk with God, and receiving the reward for your endurance is the essence of a blessing. So, are you ready to be blessed, or maybe a greater question is, ARE YOU READY TO GO THROUGH? In the end it is only those that are willing to go through that will be BLESSED!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
After watching this video I was extremely saddened by the image of this 3yr old boy smoking this cigarette on camera. And, this for me wasn't the most disturbing part about the video, even though this was disturbing enough. But, to learn that his parents were seated immediately behind the 2yr old in the camera shot and that they allow him to smoke to calm him down during his tantrums is HORRIBLE!! I've posted this video on my Facebook profile and included a link on twitter (@PSTRNIMMONSTV), but this is a sad commentary for the times. And, to watch this 2yr old smoke the cigarette like a pro, suggests that he has been doing this for some time to have gotten it down that so well. What is also deplorable is there is absolutely no shame or embarrassment at all on the part of the parents having allowed not only their 2yr old to smoke, but to have videotaped and photographed it for the entire world to see. We obviously could not expect the child to be embarrassed by his behavior, after all he is still a child and he is only doing what he has seen done and he has been allowed to do. And, his presence in the video implicit suggests permission was granted by his parents to do so. So we choose to blame the ones which carry the most responsibilty in this instance, and that is the PARENTS! This video should be grounds for their son to be taken away from them permanently and given to a family that knows how to properly raise a child, because obviously they are completely oblivious to this concept.
Where is our society headed when parents are not held accountable for this reprehensible behavior? This is the equivalent of evidence that should be submitted to a court of law demanding that their parental rights be taken away. But, its sad to say that we will see more and more of this, because it is the competitive nature of this Global media environment to post videos of like manner. And, i'm not attacking the Youtuber(s) for uploading this video as much as I am the parents of the 2yr old for making it in the first place. Yes, you could argue that the those responsible for recording the video did so to make the world aware of such a horrific injustice taking place in the life of this 2yr old by his own parents. And, by calling attention to this situation that hopefully this 2yr old will get the help he needs and he's parents will get the help they need (preferably in the 5' X 5' jail cell). But, if this video was posted to get a few laughs at the expense of this 2yr old and his horrible parents, shame on those who posted it, because you have just contributed to the video pollution that already fills the libaries of Youtube. We've seen pot smoking 4 & 5yr olds, cussing and fighting toddlers and babies on Youtube, and this is just another example of the sad direction our society is headed.
And, to the parents of this baby, you should be utterly and completely ASHAMED of yourselves for allowing this to go own in your home. To allow your baby to fill his 2yr old lungs with such filth and garbage. You have warped his little mind so young, and it is going to take alot of work, prayer and discipline to re-program his little mind. The word of God instructs us as parents, "To train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old, he shall not depart." This scripture speaks to the effect that training will have on the mindset of a child. King Solomon, when he penned this scripture; i'm sure, was thinking of the right way a child should be trained and that it will never depart from him / or her. However, this scripture also speaks to the wrong way as well. Behavior is learned and whatever behavior is learned good or bad will eventually become apart of who you are. Which makes the parents even more culpable, because they have become willful participants in the demise of their 2yr old son. Just 24 months after he is born, his own parents are facilitating over his own demise, by allowing him to adopted the most disgusting and debilitating habit; next to alcohol and drug abuse, known to man. Parenting is a privilige not a right! You should only decide to be parents when you sincerely believe that you have something positively substantial to deposit into the lives of the next generation. These parents obviously have not done so, and have basically turned their own son into a circus act, a side show for the whole world to pitty, and to look down upon. And, for this reason, we strongly recommend for the sake of the welfare of this precious 2yr old that he be removed for this household and given to a family that will love him and train him properly on how to grow from a child to a productive adult. For they have already placed their son at an enormous disadvantage, and our only hope and prayer is that this baby gets the help he so desperately needs before it is absolutely too late.
I'm interested in getting your thoughts and opinions on this video and what should be done to the parents. It is absolutely unconsciousable to allow your child to adopt such a deadly habit. Please let us know your thoughts, and your feelings. It has definitely saddened me, and my hope is that there are more of you that feel the same. Something has to be done!