I Almost Lost My Car….

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The picture you see above is the car I’ve had for about 7 years. This car has taken me all across North Carolina and to parts of South Carolina and Virginia. However, on Tuesday November 15, 2016, I came pretty close to losing this wonderful car I have¬†because I failed to take heed to the warning signs the car was showing me.¬†

For the last 2 weeks, my car has made an interesting noise. For whatever reason, I chose to ignore it and figured “it’s not a big deal, I’ll get it fixed eventually.” But here comes the warning sign. I’m driving and all of a sudden the oil light comes on and comes off. The first thing I’m thinking ultimately becomes true: I’m almost out of oil….uh oh! To God be the glory there was an Advance Auto store that I pulled into. I let the car sit for a few minutes before checking the oil. There was just a tiny bit of oil left. Anybody who knows anything about cars know that the oil is the life of the car. If a car runs out of oil, it damages the engine which pretty much damages the car. I go into the store and buy some oil, put the oil in, give it a minute to get in, turn the engine on and the sound is gone. Wow!

What would have happened if I continued to drive the car to my destination? There was a high chance that I would have permanently damaged my car, which would mean either purchasing another engine (which is ridiculously expensive) or investing in a new car. Warning signs are critical!

While this post could be seen as a basic instruction guide for caring for cars, I want to argue that my experience shows how important it is for us to pay attention to the warning signs of ANYTHING that would take place in our lives.

Some of us are in the process of getting in relationships with people but we’re already seeing the red flags. What will you do? Will you see the warning sign for what it is and change course or will you continue on the path until it’s too late?

Some of us are pondering decisions in our lives that could make or break us, yet there are warning signs that tell us not to go in a particular direction. Will we listen to the warning signs and go in a different direction or will we be stubborn and determined to do it our own way? These principles can apply not only to individuals but to organizations as a whole.

Today I want to encourage all of us starting with me to pay close attention to the red flags and warning signs that are present in whatever we’re dealing with. Those warning signs are the best thing to prevent us from unnecessary headaches. Many of us are unfortunately witnesses of what happens when you ignore the warning signs and advance with whatever you’re looking to do. Every action has consequences and some of us are paying for making the wrong decisions even when we saw the red flags. Choose an open mind over a stubborn mind. Be open to changing course. It could be the biggest difference in you walking in your destiny and purpose!

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My Concerns with a Trump Presidency

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In what may be the most stunning result of a presidential election in the 240 year history of our country, Donald J. Trump around 2:40am Wednesday November 9, 2016 was declared the 45th president of the United States defeating Hillary Clinton, who was thought to be the overwhelming favorite heading to the election. As someone trying to be a decent human being, let me congratulate President-Elect Trump and his supporters on winning the election. At the same time, allow me to express some concerns that I have with a Trump presidency.

Let me start by discussing a little bit about by political ideology. I was born and raised by parents who overwhelmingly supported the democratic party platform. Over the last few years, I’ve become an independent with democratic part leanings because I agree with some of the platform issues in both the democratic and republican parties. As a result, I believe in giving candidates on both ends of the political spectrum the opportunity to convince me of why they would be the best candidate to govern our nation.

As an African-American male, the result of this election is puzzling and bothers me for one huge reason:

We have taken a step back in terms of cultural diversity and race relations. Many have argued that this election was about white privilege having its last stand in a society that is becoming more and more diverse. Race relations have always been dicey, but I have to wonder if it will be even more dicey under President-Elect Trump. Whether he wanted it to be this way or not, his candidacy gave ammunition for those who are racist and disrespectful of other people groups to behave in a way that reflected their values. As an African-American male, will I have to be more worried when I go in environments that are predominately white? Will white people feel justified in treating me as less of a human being due to President-Elect Trump being in office? Will more police officers believe it is okay to murder unarmed black males? Will our government feel justified to keep laws and practices in place that systemically hurt blacks and other “minorities”? I have more questions than answers and that is not a good thing as I try to be a productive citizen in this country.

I understand that many supported Trump in an effort to not support Hillary and to vote on the values of the republican party, but how do people justify putting in the office someone who has insulted so many people? I am also disappointed in so many evangelicals basically saying that in this moment, character was not as important as the political issues on the line. As someone that has tried to support evangelicals over the years, this flip-flop was very discouraging.

I would love to have a decent conversation with someone who supported Trump to explain to me why they did and juxtapose it with the concerns I have as we move forward as a nation.

At the end of the day, putting the philosophical and political issues aside (including my fear/frustration that everything President Obama put in the place the last 8 years will be destroyed), my concerns boil down to how we will interact with each other in a country that says as long as we get what we want we do not care who is put in office. How we treat each other matters especially if we call ourselves Christians or Christ-followers. I believe that the reputation of Christianity is on the line even more the next 4 (or 8) years in terms of how we live out being salt and light in the world.

My prayer is that some way and some how, even in this period of time we’re about to live in, we do what we can to ensure that America is a nation for all people. While I admit that I am concerned about me and my family’s future in a society under the leadership of President-Elect Trump, I will also use this moment again to be salt and light and remember God’s sovereignty in this moment.

If you supported Trump, will you comment and let me know your basis for supporting him? Can you speak to the concerns I’ve put here? What will you do as a Trump supporter to ensure that we try to have positive race relations with each other?