Friday, June 22, 2012


When I think about the word reputation, I immediately refer to what other people think about another individual. Often times people will say emphatically that they could care less about what others feel about them even as a Christian.

The Bible encourages believers to not let our good be damaged by a bad reputation. In essence, we are to display the character of Christ in everything that we do.

My brother, how is your reputation? Can anyone truthfully find a dark stain on your character because of something that you have said or done?

Allow me to shift away from what people directly see as your reputation. Have you ever considered what your financial reputation is concerning your credit score? Wow! That score reveals a great deal about a person's character. Your financial reputation has the potential to limit your buying power and literally cause you to have to pay higher interests rates. Don't worry, it is not the end of the world. You can still come of this on top.

Just like you would try to reconcile with a person who you have offended and in the process damaged your reputation, you will need to reconcile your financial transactions the same way. In doing so you increase your credit score and thereby improve your financial reputation. How?

1. Begin paying every bill on time.

2. Pay down your credit cards to about 10% - 30% of the credit limit.

3. Review your credit report for errors and dispute them with one of the leading credit report companies.

4. Communicate with your creditors if you have a serious financial hardship. They may be willing to work with you.

If you can start to doing these four things, you can improve your financial reputation in no time. Always remember, we represent Christ in every area of our lives.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Men Who Hurt in Silence 06/20 by Elder Kevin Jackson | Blog Talk Radio

Men Who Hurt in Silence 06/20 by Elder Kevin Jackson | Blog Talk Radio

Men Who Hurt in Silence

Often times no one can tell when a man is in pain or has a struggle that he cannot handle because men have learned how to mask pain and struggle since childhood. We were taught that crying was essentially a sign of total weakness. As a result, we develop throughout our lives ignoring the obvious pain that we have from various incidents in our lives for the sake of maintaining the superman persona for the world.

I want to caution all of my brothers to not remain in silence alone. Not to continue to scream a silent scream in your head or simply resolve the total matter by displaying deep seeded anger. When pain is masked, it leads to self-destruction. My brother, please don't allow the enemy and those who hurt you in the past, destroy the plan God ordained for your life. No! More! Silence!

How can you, a man, safely navigate leaving your cave of silence without losing your perception of being strong? First acknowledge that there are issues that have never been resolved and there is hope beyond the current methods you have used to mask the pain.

Second, release the guilt and pain from the experiences to Christ. How? Cast your every thought, care, anger, guilt, rejection, hurt, abandonment upon the Lord because He is so...concerned about you man. Jesus is not concerned about the perception of society and how they define weakness and strength. His perspective is in your weakness His strength is made perfect.

Third, find a strong Christian brother who you can be transparent with. Unmask and tell him the issues that cause you to hurt in silence. Ask him to commit to praying for and with you on a consistent basis. The moment you open your mouth and begin to speak about the pain of the divorce, the death of a loved one, the issues of your childhood, you will experience such a release in your spirit that you have never experienced before.

Fourth, mediate on the word of God. Allow His word to minister to every wound that is oozing with pain. Mediate on Isaiah 26:3, "I will keep him in perfect peace who keeps his mind stayed on me." Also reflect on Psalm 91. The bible is replete with scriptures that will bring continual healing to your spirit.

Listen my brother! You do not have to remain in silence any longer. God is concerned about you and the pain that you have in your spirit. You are not alone, there are millions of men who continue to mask during the day and unmask at home never to find the deliverance and resolve they so desperately seek.

No! More! Silence!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Power of Fatherhood

I am convinced that God has placed a special calling upon Fathers to impact the lives of their children and those whom the Lord places in their path. We are indeed called to mold, lead, guide and provide an example to one of God's most precious gifts, children.

I am so amazed at the process in which God decided to bring Jesus into the world. Although He did not allow a man to physically create Jesus, He did allow a man, Joseph, to mentor, train and guide one of His most precious possessions.

I can only imagine the sit-down chats Joseph had with Jesus. The conversations they must have had as Joseph showed Jesus how to master the carpenter's trade. It must have been something to experience Jesus developing from an infant to a twelve year old who decided to stay back in the temple and talk about the Torah.

Joseph, I believe, represents a man who understood that his love for Jesus was more powerful than the fact that Jesus was not his natural son. Joseph did not allow the circumstances of Jesus' birth to prevent him from being the earthly father any young boy needs to become a strong man.  Now that is a great example of a man who understood the "Power of Fatherhood".

To appreciate this power and see the need to be a father figure , we only need to look at the horrible consequences that result when fathers are not in the lives of children. Did you know that research shows that children without fathers are more prone to enter the prison system, crime and experience emotional instability? I know that there are exceptions to the research, but there are so many young men and women in prison right now who will say without reservation, "They wished they had a father".

Fathers, Mentors, Uncles, Grandfathers, we all have a god-given responsibility to mentor and guide the young people who God has placed in our lives. Let's commit this Father's Day to touch the lives of young people in at least the following ways:

a. Demonstrate godly principles for them to emulate.

b. Provide godly advice that will help young people make wise decisions.

c. Allow our young people to make mistakes while they are under our tutelage.

d. Pray without ceasing for our young people's salvation and future.

e. Show our young people how to navigate the economic system of the world and the Kingdom of God.

f. Disciple each young person so that they can become what God destined them to be.

If we can commit to these six principles, we too can experience, as Joseph did with Jesus, the "Power of Fatherhood".

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Motivated Man Who Motivates Young Men to be a Man

I was fortunate enough to travel to Philadelphia, PA to attend the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference. One of the most fascinating sessions that I have ever attended had to have been, “Inspiring Black Males to Soar” by Principal Baruti Kafele.

Principal Kafele provided all attendees with an overview of the state of black males in the public school system and those who teach them. His style of delivery and deluge of relevant information empowered each person in attendance that had a legitimate concern about the plight of black males in the public school system.

Principal Kafele shared his three-fold focus in addressing the needs of black males by addressing the teacher and student’s attitude, the climate in which the student is forced to receive instruction and the culture of the classroom and school. He told us attitude, climate and culture were all controlled by the educators in the lives of young black males.

Principal Kafele also shared his role in his school in New Jersey. He saw himself as the father of every young man. He stated, “When the young man comes to my school, he is going to succeed because I am his teacher.” What a profound statement and declaration of commitment to announce personal responsibility and accountability for the education of the young men placed in his care. I wish every teacher who teach black males would pledge their commitment to declare out loud, “When my black male students come to my class, they shall succeed by any means necessary because I am their teacher!”

Principal Kafele understood how important his role was to the point that he became involved in the young men’s life outside of their school interaction. He learned how to live in the lives of his young students. He learned the importance of winning their hearts in order to help them become what they were destined to be from their inception in their mother’s womb.

Principal Kafele, shared three components of his vision. That vision included telling the story of the students’ African American history. Secondly, he sought to teach and provide means for economic development for his male students. Finally, he taught and modeled true manhood. If indeed the vision and mission statement of every teacher encompassed the above components, then our black boys would have the chance to excel academically and at a greater level they would understand who they are, how to thrive economically and how to pursue true manhood.

One of the tragedies of the public schools in African American communities is the absence of the positive black male role model. School boards across America should include as their mission to encourage African American male college students to teach in America’s black schools. Black boys need to see a positive reflection of who they shall be in the classroom at least five times a week throughout the school year.

Principal Kafele has offered another alternative for public schools in black neighborhoods that have little or no black male teachers. He has created a mentoring program that instills the values and character traits essential for our black boys to understand who they are.

One of the exercises that Principal Kafele teaches his young men is to look into the mirror every day and ask themselves, “Who are you?” The boys are told to answer themselves with statements that prophecy what they shall be. In addition, he tells them to ask themselves, “What are you about?” In other words, what is your purpose? Finally, Principal Kafele tells the young men to ask themselves, “Where is the evidence?” That’s a provocative question! The boys have to state what they are doing at that time to make who they say that are and what they are about a reality. I am going to ask my three boys to do this exercise and ensure that they know who they are, what they are about and what evidence they have to make all that they have declared a reality.

During one point of Principal Kafele’s presentation, his words and passion for seeing young black males succeed literally made my eyes watery. Especially when he began to talk about how he poured himself into his male students and the impact it made on their lives. He stated that he could see himself in their actions, mannerisms and their passion to be just like him. This part of the presentation hit home because I too was blessed to have a positive black male teacher in my life throughout elementary school. The man that God sent to rescue me from my communities’ prophetic destruction was Michael Van Barren.

Mr. Barren singled-handedly taught me my history, he reassured me that I had potential; he modeled how a Christian Black Male should live his life. As a result of his dedication to teaching and imparting into my life, I became everything that he was. I became the teacher. I became the scout leader. I became the church leader because Michael Van Barren was, I became. Therefore, I too share the same passion to impact the lives of young men. I understand the power of one man standing up and reaching back to pull forward young men who he sees as too precious to leave behind.

Although I do not teach in the public schools, I have found that all black males desire a real authentic black male role model. One of my former students who I taught for several years in our Christian Private School wrote an essay for his public high school Educators’ class stating how I, his only male teacher, impacted his life in a positive way. He recalled me constantly enforcing the uniform code and asking him to keep that shirt tail tucked inside. My student recalled me taking the time to be his mirror and tell him on a constant basis who he was. I declared unto him he was different and had a special calling on his life. This student declared that because of the passion he saw in my teaching, he too wanted to pursue a career in teaching and he prayed that he would be just as effective in reaching his students as I had in mentoring him. Because I was, he became the teacher.

Behold the power of one man impacting the lives of black males is the best kept secret in America. This secret needs to be broadcasted, screamed, and videoed on YouTube, posted on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter and all of the other social media means of communicating the message that there are some black men who are making a difference in the lives of black young men. My hat goes off to Principal Kafele. You stirred up a greater desire in me to pursue that which I know has been ordained for my life and that is to make an effective impact on the lives of those who cannot help themselves.

Principal Kafele, the impact of your impartation into the lives of the young men who you shared life lessons with will outlive you and leave a strong legacy of self-worth and self-awareness. If only the world knew about Principal Kafele and Mr. Michael Barren and others who have a passion for changing the lives of young men, maybe more black males would have a chance to see a new worldview of their futures and lives.

I was so moved that I immediately bought a copy of Principal Kafele’s book, “Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life”. You owe it to yourself and the young black males in your life to receive a powerful impartation from this positive man who has dedicated his life to impacting the lives of young black males. Start by visiting his website:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just Like Dad

I had the opportunity to witness my three boys minister in our church this entire weekend. My oldest participated in the drum corps ministry along with my youngest son (5) and my middle son (8). In addition, the middle son participated in a Christian dance ministry. On Sunday, my middle son played the drums in the church and my oldest son sang with the choir and had a part in one of the songs.After the service, my youngest son said, " Daddy you did very well today in service".

While I was painting the office at home, my oldest son came in and said, " Daddy, you know what? When I grow up, I want to be just like you." Now those words would make any father's heart glad.

I am so proud of all of my boys and their desire to work in the house of the Lord. I honestly believe that it is because of the example that my wife and I have set for each of them.

Fathers still make a difference! If you are a father, just think about all of the ways that you are impacting your children's lives. The power of a father should never be underestimated or taken for granted. God has anointed us to speak into the lives of our children for his glory.

Make the difference in your child's life starting today.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. King's National Holiday

What better way to celebrate the labor of a great pioneer than to reflect on all that he contributed to America and African American people. The anti-thesis of that statement would be to simply take this day off and not even consider what Dr. King has done. That would simply be a tragedy and disrespectful to his ultimate sacrifice; his life.

I would like to encourage all people of all races to take some time out of your day to reflect on what America would be like today had Dr. King not pursued justice. It was through his leadership and strategy that many of the rights we have today are available.

I took some time to talk to my middle son about the struggles of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. We talked about blacks having to drink from different water fountains. He asked, " Was the water out of the black water fountain different from the water out of the white water fountain? I told him no. The difference was the racial climate and during that time segregation was a way of life.

We discussed the Little Rock Nine, seating in restaurants, riding the public bus and other things that demonstrated to my son that things were very different than they are today. My son really grasped all of that information with wide eyes of amazement.

This morning, my wife and I talked about Dr. King with our 5 year old, Elisha. He told us that Dr. King was a black man who liked to preach. He said that Dr. King wanted to teach whites how to be good people when they played with black people. Elisha told us that some white people did not like Dr. King and wanted to kill him. He seemed to try to make a connection between then and now.

It is so important that our children have a good understanding where we have come from so that they do not repeat the things of our past. Please spend this day reflecting on how far we have come because of Dr. King and how far we must go.