This “Right Now” Life

If the conservative Christians running the government believe in a rich afterlife, why are they trying to hoard all the material wealth now? AND lying about what they’re doing?

Do they believe God is pleased? Just curious…

“Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.” Mark 10: 23-25, MSG

Inhale Honesty, Exhale Hoarding…
Inhale Fairness, Exhale Fraud…
Inhale Generosity, Exhale Greed…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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American Poverty

“According to the Census Bureau, nearly 41 million people in the U.S. live in poverty. That’s second-highest rate of poverty among rich countries, as measured by the percentage of people earning less than half the national median income.” ~ Carlos Ballesteros, Newsweek

This week, the United Nations is reporting on third world poverty and disease right here in First World America.

So I’m thinking that instead of some quilt assuaging, economy-disrupting, seed packaging, give-away to an impoverished country, maybe some of the mega-churches in this country could tend to the impoverished right here in America.

“Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6: 17-19, MSG

Inhale Do Good, Exhale Poverty…
Inhale Help Others, Exhale Poverty…
Inhale Give Generously, Exhale Poverty…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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Fake Christianity…

Why are we even paying attention to those who call themselves Christians but ignore what and who Jesus paid attention to? Why do we continue to give credence to those who claim Christ but don’t reflect Christ in their attitude or actions? Why do we allow the amplification of “Christian” voices that spew separation and fear?

“What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Matthew 16: 26, MSG

Inhale Peace, Exhale Poverty…
Inhale Passion, Exhale Poverty…
Inhale God’s Promises, Exhale Poverty…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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American Exceptionalism

This summer, I participated in a curated discussion exploring the black experience through television. After watching ‘black-ish” the exceptional creation of Kenya Barris, one of the white male participants voiced his objection to the Johnson’s acting white. When pressed, he couldn’t quite explain how they were acting white, except they live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, drive expensive cars and wear fabulous shoes.

I saw his reaction as a demonstration of the way Americans equate wealth with whiteness. So ingrained in the American psyche is this idea of white wealth and, conversely, black poverty, that whole black communities have been destroyed by whites, indignant that blacks would possess material wealth reserved ONLY, they believed, for whites.

Today, that same sentiment is expressed in the extra security for people of color shopping in swanky stores, the harassment, even arrest of non-whites trying to deposit big checks and of course, the consistent assumption that people of color couldn’t possibly afford first class.

And since we know that any escalation will probably end badly for us…’cause racism… we resort to recording the woman who thinks she should board the plane ahead of us.

Inhale Deeply, Exhale Anger…
Inhale Slowly, Exhale Hostility…
Inhale Fully, Exhale Escalation…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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Preferred Space

A commenter in a closed group who is NOT a fan of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) questioned, given the propensity of some SEC fans to flaunt their racism, how “people of color come to terms with wanting to put on those colors and rep that establishment.”

I felt compelled to remind him that racism is not confined to the south; that, especially in the last year, very few college campuses have escaped incidents of racial vandalism or assault, and that, given the emphasis America has put on education, I would expect the demographics of the marquee schools in the south to reflect their state’s population.

And that people of color attend and represent our state schools in the same way we put on the uniform of the U.S. military…in the same way we live in a land where white men have behaved badly for over 500 years…in the same way we live in the thirteen cities that kill black men at higher rates than the U.S. murder rate, or states that elect obvious racists to government offices.

Some protest the systems from the outside; some join in and fight for changes from within and some just try to survive. But we haven’t protested, fought and survived as a people only to allow the overt bigotry of others to stop us from existing in our preferred spaces.

And Roll Tide…

Inhale Space, Exhale Segregation…
Inhale Rights, Exhale Restriction…
Inhale Choice, Exhale Constriction…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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American Rights

I spent the entirety of my last visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the art gallery on the 4th level. The relentless nature of racism so palpable throughout the museum is present in this space as the catalyst for uniquely American art.

The piece that haunted me, “Increase Risk with Emotional Faith” by Kevin Cole, looks innocuous enough: wide, colorful ties intertwined in a haphazard even whimsical fashion. But the chilling inspiration for the piece was the artist’s grandfather’s story of a lynching tree in Tarry, Arkansas and the memories of black men, lynched for trying to vote, their ties wrapped around the noose as a warning to other black men.

Especially in the states of the confederacy, people of color fought and died for the right to vote in this country. I pray it’s a right we take advantage of before it is lost to all Americans.

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens…so pay attention and vote.” ~ President Barack Obama

Inhale Commitment, Exhale Complacency…
Inhale Vigilance, Exhale Complacency…
Inhale Action, Exhale Complacency…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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Ambivalence…

Athletes good enough to play at the college level usually have a pretty healthy dose of confidence. At the same time, they’re in college, which means they’re under 25 and their brains haven’t reached full maturity. They may not be equipped to handle the entire spectrum of responses to their performance

I wonder how Jalen Hurts, for example, feels about his own fan-base questioning his capability, blaming him for the Auburn loss…calling him an “incompetent n*****”.

Jalen Hurts and Walter Lewis. https://theundefeated.com/features/a-brief-history-of-alabama-phenom-jalen-hurts-and-the-black-qbs-who-came-before-him/

Now that Alabama has surprised some of its “fans” by actually making the playoffs, I wonder if he and the team will get the full-throated support they deserve.

Hurts is usually described as unflappable; I wonder if he’ll be able to block out all the negativity he’s bound to hear over the next few weeks and focus on what he and the team (who look to him as their leader) want to accomplish.

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” ~ Vince Lombardi

Inhale Ambition, Exhale Animosity…
Inhale Actions, Exhale Adversity…
Inhale Accomplishment, Exhale Ambivalence…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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Messy Democracy

Democracy is messy, never more so than when it’s in disarray. Democracy is fragile, especially when it’s under attack. Democracy is inefficient, particularly when its participants are so polarized.

Yet the democratic ideas espoused by our founders, as yet unrealized for all in this country, remain a shining beacon of possibility for people all over the world…and right here in America.

“Despair is not an option!” ~ Senator Bernie Sanders

Inhale Disorder, Exhale Dictatorship…
Inhale Fragility, Exhale Fascism…
Inhale Democracy, Exhale Destruction…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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Undeserving

This was posted in a closed group prior to yesterday’s announcement of the College Football Playoff teams:
“I don’t expect Alabama to make the College Football Playoff Final 4 today … Congrats to the 4 teams that get the shot to play for the Championship. You earned it.” ~ An Alabama Alum

I expected that from Alabama haters or Ohio State fans…but from alleged Alabama fans … not so much.

It’s the kind of subversive thought that sabotages success and yet it’s the thought process we often unintentionally employ. We undermine our ability to get what we want with thoughts about how undeserving we are.

What if we could just want what we want with positive expectations instead of negative predictions?

“As someone thinks within himself, so he is.” ~Proverbs 23:7, ASV

Inhale Belief, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Possibility, Exhale Subversion…
Inhale Expectation, Exhale Sabotage…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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It Ain’t Ovah…

It hasn’t happened often during the Saban era, but after an Alabama loss, I usually limit my exposure to social media. Not because of the haters (hating those consistently at the top is an American pastime) but because of the so-called fans.

In the thread of the one post I did read, ungrateful “fans” ripped the QB primarily, the coaching staff, the defense …and basically declared the season over!

Forget the Shula years…these folks seem to have forgotten about 2015, when the experts declared the dynasty over after the loss to Ole Miss, only to have Alabama end the season with National Championship #16.

In Alabama Football, as in life, it pays to take the long view.

It ain’t ovah…

“Just because you are dominant does not mean you are infallible.” ~ Nick Saban

Inhale Team Accountability, Exhale Individual Blame…
Inhale Long View, Exhale Short Sighted…
Inhale Ride or Die, Exhale Bandwagon…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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