Pre-Flight Thoughts

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

In customary and proper tone, please take a read of my oldest’s blog at http://maige23.wordpress.com/. Much love to my and birthday wishes to my Shuggy!!!!!

I will admit that I am not a “woe is me” type of guy and I will try to avoid that as much as possible. This particular rant is a snapshot of my thoughts and feelings as of 19:59 CDT on 19 June 2013. There has been a comment that my lead pastor at Courageous Church DFW, Bobby Minor, has hammered to me in our conversations. He states that we have to be genuine in our life walk so that we are genuine and real when we are with people. Genuineness. Keeping it real. Authentic. Certified. What ever you want to call the concept it all falls to being the same thing; being true to what and how God has wired you. It is amazing how we confirm ourselves into a pretzel in the attempt on making the proper appearance in front of people. Think of how many times you had to do “extra cleaning” when the big whigs from the corporate office showed up. Think of how different your spouse is now from when you went on your first date. Think about how many people have gotten divorced, fired, let go and dismissed because they were not who we thought they were. Realness.

Don’t get it twisted, I have may own set of issues, but I am too old to try to change my DNA to something different because it is what I think others would want to see. God has wired my high yella hind parts to be what and who I am. Which goes on to this point…

I never have claimed to be perfect or even extremely good. I have many flaws and weaknesses. But all I can offer, all I can do it to go at one speed, and that is full speed. I give my all to God, my family, work and church. I have worked hard to give the best to my wife and my kids. I put all of me out there in ministerial work. As often as I feel that I am pulled in several different directions, I bring it. That is all I can do in spite of my many shortcomings. I don’t look for accolades or pats on the back because my job is a thankless one. Bishop Lawson, Bishop Emeritus at Perkins School of Theology, gave us a fire hydrant pin at the beginning of the semester of UMC polity. He said that fire hydrant symbolizes us. We have to be out in the hot, the cold. The wet and the dry. They windy and the stifling. Hail and thunder. We have to get the grass cut around us and deal with dogs using us as rest rooms.But when that time comes God forbid of an fire, we have to be ready to spread the Living Water. A fire hydrant is a thankless job. I am a simple fire hydrant. It is my job to be there in mind, body, spirit and soul especially when those fires arise. Just my .02 cents worth.

It has been awhile since I have posted here and I am glad to be back. I lot has gone on but God is still good. Before I get started, take a read of my oldest’s blog at http://maige23.wordpress.com/. Much love to my Shuggy!!!!! On to the show…

I will forewarn you now that this blog is going to be a gaggle of my thoughts. Or it may not, I am letting my fingers run with me on the keyboard. If I sound incoherent, lost or wandering all over the place, I ask for forgiveness now. I will say that one of the things that have been blowing my mind, especially in a political discourse arena, is how simpleton the discussion has become. This observation is for both political parties. Lets look at this for a second. Please tell me what piece of good policy has come out of Washington in the past 6 months? Hmmm??? Before anyone goes into the President Obama bashing, please stop and think a moment. With the amount of issues that are occurring at once, major disasters in OK and TX, stale job market, high prices on everything, bridges collapsing, schools failing and people hungry, you would think our leaders would find a way to at least address some issues. But no…we are people whining about the President not saluting coming off Marine 1 (yes, he is the Commander in Chief), IRS scandals that really don’t effect most common people, scandal that emails were captured from the press and what ever else. All this stuff against a man who will never run for public office again. Where is the logic in this?

Trying to place me with a political label is futile. But let me help you. My born on label is Charles Arthur Coulter Jr. My ethnic label is African-American. My belief label is that I am a Christian. I have earned the label of Dad, Master of Divinity graduate, Pastor and Chuck. With all of that said, my political leanings go with folk who have good, solid, innovative ideas to solve problems. I refuse to listen and participate with people with their proverbial thumbs in their rump whining and complaining about nonsense. I will not treat my political rights in the same vane as my NFL or college football. I am not a cheerleader or fan. I am a participant. I have skin in the game. Screw the bumper stickers, having some jabronis name on my car or some snarky comment. My forefathers and mothers spilled blood just to get the RIGHT to vote. I want to be a part of the solution. I want people to debate and discuss ideas. Our country is fertile ground for ideas and innovative thought, development and execution. But we as people have become lazy which in turn we have elected lazy, unintelligent scrubs to office.

As I remember the brothers and sisters who have given their lives both living and passed on to our nations service, it will do them a disservice to continue in our present course. Our country deserves so much better that what we are giving it. When you go into the voting both, instead of voting straight ticket, how about you do some research on who is running for office. If you can spend the time searching on Yelp and Urbansppon to find the best Chinese restaurant in the area, you can google a few names. God forbid our country needs it.

On a lighter note, who said it was acceptable for a man to wear skinny jeans? How about ones that sag? When will hip hop become hip hop again? Why do we care about Kanye/Kim K, Jay-Z/Beyonce, Chris Brown/Rhianna? Doesn’t Coach K look like the Count from Sesame Street? Just my .02 cents worth….Let me know what you think.

Before I get started, take a read of my oldest’s blog at http://maige23.wordpress.com/. Much love to my Shuggy!!!!!

Now to my special comment on today’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon is one of the iconic races in the running world. The runners work hard year round to be able to successfully run 26.2 miles. Their families, friends and fans of the sport are there cheering on the runners then BOOM! Out of nowhere, 2 explosions at the finish line and 1 at the JFK library. Yes there is much to be investigated to find out who did it and why. This comment won’t even dive into that but what we will dive into is our response.

Before the debates start on who failed what from the political leaders, it is time to simply say enough is enough. All of the national tragedies and we still can’t come together as a nation. When is enough enough? Our political leaders stay busy trying to keep their jobs instead of doing the difficult job and lead. Does all of the political theater really mean anything when people can’t run a marathon or go to school without getting shot or blown up? Our country has truly lost perspective and the trivial rancor which is our leadership is truly sickening. So, what will our response be for this? Lets try something different. How about some prayerful leadership? How about setting aside trivial differences and work together. Really, enough killing, enough arguing, enough silliness. Just my .02 cents….

Guess who is back???? Before I get started, take a read of my oldest’s blog at http://maige23.wordpress.com/. Much love to my Shuggy!!!!!

Now, onto the purpose of my special comment. A high school classmate and very close friend of mine, Sherry, wrote a very interesting series of blogs over on her blog “check your character” at http://checkyourcharacter.blogspot.com/. Mama Shey provides a series indictment to a group that she calls “Lipgloss Christians” and also the dilemma that she has felt about Christ and the crucifixion. Interesting enough, my senior pastor at Courageous Church, Bobby Minor, preached about this dilemma. His argument stands at the fact that we as believers easily accept the easy concepts and morals of the Christian faith, yet we choose to ignore or refute the hard facts of the faith. Pastor Minor’s key point comes from the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, where the church of Corinth was having a similar debate. To bottom line all of this, if one can not believe that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, then Christianity is a hoax. How can you be Christian without Christ? The sermon is on You Tube. Look for Courageous Church DFW.

It is truly amazing how we as people love to twist God up in a pretzel to make Him fit in whatever box we have going for the day. This is why our congregations can rationalize being pro-life yet and still are willing to send their 18 year old kids off to war or state that the death penalty is justified. This is how our churches can frown upon gay marriage but is willing to have a musician, choir members or even *gasp* gay clergy. What side of the fence are we truly on as believers? As the world finds itself in deeper and deeper spiritual combat, we (as the church) find ourselves in debates of trivial minutia. Instead of taken the Word to the people, we expect folk to pay their admission fee to come to the ‘God Club”. Christ broke bread and fellowshipped with folk at the margins. He cares for the least of those….He cares for folk who society tossed to the side and left for the dead. He cares for folk like me. If we cared for one another just a smidgin like Jesus cares for us, think of the restoration that could happen. Yet, the mandate is before us to care like Jesus cared. But we as the church don’t have the testicular fortitude to simple love one another. Something has to give. That day when the catholic church, (catholic meaning universal) decides to be the family of Christ..I mean the Family of Christ, maybe the world will be a better place. Just my .02 cents….Tell me what you think….

Continuation of My Special Comment

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

In the fallout of the massacre in CT, the Monday morning quarterbacking has begun. The discussions about gun control has started and the politicians are in the “We Must Do Something….” Stage. I have heard many arguments both pro and con for gun control. I have heard the governor of the great state of Texas, the state I live in, come out and say that teachers should be armed and that CHL holders should be able to carry anywhere and anytime. This is from the jabroni that said Texas should secede from the Union. The same one who tried to run for President. I digress….

Instead of treating this situation just like everything else with making into a political talking point and bumper sticker, how about a little prayerful and logical thought please. My daughter is a correction officer for the Dallas County Sheriffs Dept. She and her colleagues oversee the housing of criminals here in Dallas County. If there is any conflict on the floor, the officers have to deal with it on a hand to hand combat basis. They do not get paid nearly enough to do this dangerous job. Our law enforcement officers, who work a patrol or beat day in and out, have to be prepared for anything. They don’t get paid enough for their important and necessary work. Now we want to ask teachers to pack heat. This brave men and women stand in front of our kids to teach and help mold them into constructive citizens. Yet leaders always want to cut education and teachers pay. Now you want to ask them to be strapped for protection. Good luck filling those positions. I say all that to say this. It is high time to get our priorities in order. Instead of CEOs making millions to run companies in the ground, how about properly compensating our law enforcement personnel and our educators. How about truly taking care of them and their families; taking care of those who serve the public good. It is a shame to that a slime ball politician gets compensated and treated better than the men and woman on the front lines serving the public. When is enough really enough….Just my .02 cents.

Special Comment

Posted: December 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

I have been very quiet for awhile and through constant encouragement from my oldest child, I am back writing. Also she prodded me to move my blog here to WordPress. Cool…By the way, take a read of her blog at http://maige23.wordpress.com/. Much love to my Shuggy.

Now onto my special comments on what happened today in Newtown, CT. It is kinda surreal for me because my hometown is Newton, NC. Anyway, I will not overstate the obvious feelings here. Yet, this is about as twisted as it gets. As always, the people who could really shed the most light on this tragedy are dead. 18 plus elementary school kids, 8 or more adults dead. For what?

Reports are saying that the shooter targeted his Mom, who was a kindergarten teacher at the school and opened fire on the kids. Once again, I ask for what? (I promised not to overstate the obvious here. I digress.) I am as second amendment as they come so I am not going into the politics here. Where I am going is the spiritual warfare that is happening.

Think about it. Satan is becoming more and more aggressive with his tactics. Mass random shootings are becoming the NORM here in our country. Satan is recruiting his own cell of terrorists that seem to look normal on the outside but that inner evil has been incubated to the point of spawning into violent acts. There is no difference between someone strapping a bomb to their body and blowing up a public bus in Tel Aviv than to someone shooting up a school, mall or movie theater. The only message that these acts of violence scream is that satan is on the offensive. So when is enough truly enough?

I ask again, when is enough truly enough….This question is sent to my holy sanctified, fire baptized folk filled with the Holy Ghost. Patting, swaying and shouting on Sunday is nice but we are at WAR! The casualties are mounting, lives are being destroyed. When do we as God’s Army stand? When do we show an ounce of courage? An ounce of testicular fortitude? Aren’t we mandated to wear the whole armor of God? No one said that the armor is now a museum piece, like a retired battleship. That armor is so relevant today. We need to be engaged in the combat. We need to spread the Good News. We truly need to be about building up the Kingdom. The sitting around is getting innocent people killed. This has to stop and has to stop now. Just my .02 cents worth….

Once again, please go over to my daughter’s blog at  http://sbmaige.blogspot.com/. Take a read and comment on what she is talking about. She loves the feedback and the debate. I love you Shuggy. Now on with the show…

After a very dramatic day yesterday, I had decided that I would take a break from Facebook for awhile. I wanted to step back a bit and get my head and spirit recharged and back aligned. For the first time in 3 months, I went back in the lab and spun out a stress relief mix, after which I prayed and read. In my reading I did log back onto Facebook to observe the chatter. I see that once again, my home state is making national news. 1) The pastor at the Providence Rd Baptist Church in Maiden, NC (my home is between Newton and Maiden. We claim Newton of course.) speaking from the pulpit some really hateful rhetoric about gays and lesbians. Catch the synopsis here (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/05/24/ac-intv-tuchman-lesbian-church-member-pastor-worley.cnn?iref=allsearch)Then to top the sundae off, 2) The Stateville, NC paper (http://www2.statesville.com/) the Statesville Record and Landmark, reported that the Klan is going to rally in Harmony, NC upon this weekend. Yup, that is right that Klan, the Ku Klux Klan. Nice. Lets deal with this in reverse order.
The Klan rally. For readers who aren’t from my neck of the woods, I bet you are stunned at this development. I can say in my younger years living in Newton, NC, the Klan has marched downtown on several occasions. Am I surprised, no I am not. But in my eyes, the Klan is not, let me stress NOT a group that can be discounted. This is not fear speaking but as of knowing history and truth. Some have compared the Klan to other groups that have or is currently promoting some type of “supremacy” in regards to an ethnic setting. On its face, this can be argued, but take the time to dig deeper. I would argue that the Klan is the American Terrorist Group. All of the black men who were lynched. All of the families that were terrorized. All of the churches that were burned. All of the kids that we killed in the cross fire. All of the kids that subjected to the culture of hate. The Klan has a trail of blood attached to it that can only be matched by groups like the Taliban. This is why the Klan stirs up emotion in African-Americans. To hear anyone discount that is truly insulting. I understand the kumbayah stance put please people, brush up on your American history. (Billie Holiday’s song “Strange Fruit” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs puts the lynching aspect in perspective. This song was originally recorded in 1939.)
Yet, under the great laws of our land, and strangely enough, the Citizens United ruling, the Klan has voice and a right to speak like everyone else. Hell they have been exercising that right for well over 100 years strong. Now with the Citizens Untied ruling, that gives them a bigger foot hold in the political process. I would argue that the foothold has been strong for well over 100 years too. Folks are expressing anger at the Record and Landmark put they were reporting it as news. Taking it out on the paper is easy. Having the stones to stand up in one voice against hate is something completely different. That stand requires us to become even more engaged with the political and social aspects of our communities. Change has to occur within to exert change. Meaning, you gotta change on the inside to see change on the outside. More on this if needed…
Now to Pastor Worley down in Maiden, NC. The home of the largest Apple Data Center in the world. NICE Pastor. I would love to ask him simply this, from clergy to clergy. “How in God’s name do you think what you said benefits the Kingdom of God?” How can anyone get Jesus’ love, grace and mercy out of what he said? He doesn’t have to agree with the gay and lesbian lifestyle and the idea of same sex marriage. Got that and doctrinal terms, he can’t agree with it. But the hate and the language that he put out there is grounds for getting his tail canned. That is spiritual malpractice. I never knew that Jesus was down with the hate? I guess Jesus is out of the saving business. How can you bring anyone to Christ like this? Bottom line, bringing souls to Christ at this moment is not important to him. He got what he wanted, his time in the sun. This is why many people have lost trust in the church and in the faith. It is truly time for clergy to be true to the calling instead of political puppets. Just my .02 cents worth. Back to being quiet.

Once again, please go over to my daughter’s blog at  http://sbmaige.blogspot.com/. Take a read and comment on what she is talking about. She loves the feedback and the debate. I love you Shuggy. Now on to this hot, fresh, Krispy Kreme doughnut off the line fresh blog. Can Krispy Kreme make a sugar free edition of the famous glazed doughnut for a brother??? Sorry, I digress…

I just watched the first segment of the Ed Show on MSNBC. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is guest hosting tonight and he posed a dilemma that I will admit that I did not fully catch initially in the gay marriage rights debate. I have also read many of my friends responses to the Amendment One vote both for and against. I am not trying to stir more of the pot up but right now, the Black Church has a dilemma. Dr. Dyson eloquently put this out in the public forum. I will try to simplify the dilemma down to this…Our history of the Black church, where our foreparents worshipped the Lord from the bushes of the brush arbor at night, to free slaves building many of the churches that we attend today, through Jim Crow, Separate but Equal, the Civil Right Movement, our churches historically have been the first and many times LAST line of defense on the subject of justice. The Civil Rights Movement was incubated in the womb of the Black church. The church was the only place for us to safely talk about the topics of the day. That tradition is still in place because when politicians need to make the round to gin up votes from Black folk, they hit the Black church. 
Being in the clergy, I guess my opinions should be a bit softer, more seminary sounding, I guess more pastoral. But I will call this how I see it….So here goes…How can we in the Black church truly front on ANYONE in the margins when we have battled (and still battling) so long from the margins ourselves? We have gone from glorified farm equipment and property, to 3/5’s of a citizen, to not eligible to vote, to not being worthy of using the same bathrooms as everyone else and on and on. Who are we to look upon gay and lesbian people with scorn and fold them up with the Bible as Massa did hundreds of years ago? So now when a new set of people are on the margins, we just turn our backs right?
I guess I can be accused of talking out of both sides of my mouth but this dilemma hits me too. Could I marry a gay couple? No I could not. Would I ever get there, not sure. But I don’t want my people to get on the Super Righteous soapbox quite yet. So it is time to really do some soul searching. Before you put King James on your sleeve, what do you do with the many choir directors and choir members who are gay and lesbian that we pat and sway to on Sunday morning? What do you do with the many Pastors that are in the closet? What do you do with the many gay and lesbian Gospel singers that are out? What do you do with supporting actors who like to dress in drag? Do we sit all of these people down? Stop supporting them??? Do we shut the doors to the church to them? Do we quarantine them like they have the plague? Or do we give the weak answer and say, “Aww, we will just pray for them?” I guess loving one another as Christ loved the Church is a bit much. How do we reconcile our struggle and the place of the Black Church in that struggle with newer members of the marginalized? Just my .02 cent worth….

Before I get started here, I encourage everyone to check out my daughter’s blog “Made Anew In God’s Eyes” at http://sbmaige.blogspot.com/. It is great reading from a young sista, trying to do her thing. Give her a read and be encouraged. Now onto the rest of this program.

Tonight, not to my surprise, the state that I was born and raised, the state that educated me, the state that I still love, even though I am in Texas now, decided that Amendment One was a good idea. I stress that I am not surprised that it passed. I see that a lot of my friends on Facebook are disappointed at the outcome. I also see that a lot of my clergy collegues are disappointed as well. Truthfully, I am very disappointed too. Let me state my stance on it….

Personally and Biblically, I do not approve of gay marriage. Would I marry a gay couple, my answer to that is no. So why would I have voted against Amendment One? Here is my list…1) NORTH CAROLINA ALREADY BANS GAY MARRIAGE! Why in God’s name am I voting for something that is already on the books? With all of the people out of work, with the NC public school system struggling, the state is running low on money, roads suck and the Bobcats play in Charlotte, you would think that there are other issues to address than Gay Marriage. 2) The wording of this amendment will bite many in the ass. Just wait until the new flood of domestic an child abuse cases go through the NC courts and smart defensive attorneys uses the loophole provided to get some sleazebag boyfriend off on a technicality. What family has to take the expense to go to the Supreme Court to get this silly provision changed? What family has to go through the pain of having a “Janice and Jeanne Carroll” Law developed to counteract the foolishness that Amendment One has opened? (Jeanne Carroll, my wife’s best friend and work mentor here in Texas and her daughter Janice were killed several years ago by Janice’s estranged husband.) Domestic violence laws already suck as is….It could be argued that a battered spouse’s only chance is being the one to pull the trigger. 3) There is something inherently wrong with denying someone rights. 4) Once again, my state was played by sleaze ball politicians that have accomplished nothing for my state. 5) What happened to all of the “We want smaller government?” folks? If you can govern what goes on in the bedroom, if you can govern what goes on in the church sanctuary, then your precious guns, your precious food, your precious booze and OH yeah, lets not forget, the lottery are all in play now. (I am a gun advocate myself.) This amendment should have failed upon principal alone but….

I am sorry but to my people of NC, you got snowed and played like suckas. You didn’t make a stand on anything really. Oh let me get this right, you did take a stand. You took a stand for wasting time, money and denying rights. You took a stand of not solving any problems. You took a stand of accepting and condoning being made a fool. Please tell me, what was accomplished for passing Amendment One??? Just my .02 cents…

Thank you Trayvon

Posted: March 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Trayvon Martin case has really shaken the country to its core. Everyone is speaking out one way or another, many are showing support to Trayvon’s family by breaking out their hoodies. President Obama chimed in on the case today by stating the fact that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon. That is a point blank fact on many levels. I read an article on Politico that Newt Gingrinch called the President’s comments disgraceful. My rant here is not about want Newt said, he is a set of clown shoes that I will not waste blogging space on. But my rant here is about the, how can I say this, blind comments by most of the readers there. One comment got to me and it was the first one that I read. A lady came out and said that the country is more divided since Obama has been President. Here is where I want to concentrate. (The article by the way is at http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/03/newt-calls-obamas-trayvon-martin-comments-disgraceful-118518.html)

There are many who disagree with the President’s stances on policy and philosophy. But there is many who can not fathom that a man of color is the leader of the free world. The latter crew of people are being drawn out of the darkness. (Basically they are becoming more and more vocal.) For a lot of people, this would make it seem that the country is more divided. No, it is just that the infected wound of years of institutionalized hate has been re-exposed to the light. Many people in different forums and discussions are quick to use the terms like “playing the race card” and “why are we trying to live in the past”? This is a weak, cowardly and unintelligent stance for a modern society. The United States is supposed to be the standard bearer of freedom, the example of a modern civilized society, the world leader. And we can’t get human respect right. We as a country can’t muster the testicular fortitude to come together as the Union and truly deal with the mess of racial equality that we have been so scared to deal with. As great is our country is, we are still nothing more than mere cowards when it comes to dealing with ourselves. Who are we to be an example?

This brings me to Trayvon. This young brother was killed by an Hispanic man because he thought and assumed that Trayvon didn’t belong there. This young brother supposedly had no right to be in this neighborhood, with his hoodie up walking down the street. Trayvon was killed because he seemingly didn’t belong in this particular environment. He didn’t look the part. I would encourage anyone who doesn’t understand this to ask any African-American or Hispanic man about this. I bet 8 of of 10 can tell you of a time where they were stopped just because of how they look. I can bring up 4 times since I have been to Dallas alone and several times at home in NC. I was Trayvon at 17…I am Trayvon now…Trayvon’s death needs to be the last straw, needs to be the breaking point where people, community by community, come together to work through and learn each other differences so that we have a better situation for our kids. Trayvon did not die in vain. God will make sure that justice is served, but God is sending a message for His people. Matthew 25:31-46 reads:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creations of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink” When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, “Dpeart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you didn’t clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you didn’t look after me.” “They will also answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

At 17, I was Trayvon. At 39, I am still Trayvon. Just my .02 cents worth….