Monthly Archives: August 2019

Here’s A New Novel I’m Working On. What Do You Think?

dolly 231

 

Chapter 1

“Dev, what makes you tick?”

“Hatred. Pure hatred!”

“What is wrong with you, Sheehan?”

“Listen up, Captain,” I said, swiping the shot glass off the round table with my left hand while standing up and knocking my chair over backwards onto the floor, all in one motion. The people sitting nearby jumped up from their tables and backed away. “Do you want me to lie or do you want to hear the truth?”

At the sound of the shattered glass, the bald-headed bartender vaulted over the bar and stood next to me with a bar towel in his right hand.

“Listen, Dev, we don’t need any trouble from you,” he hissed through his teeth.

“What are you going to do? Call the cops?”

He shook his head. “Yeah, like that’s going to help, seeing that both of you are wearing your black uniforms right now.”

I shrugged my shoulders and smiled.

“Calling the cops won’t help, but instead I’ll whistle and Shorty will show up from the kitchen. He still remembers the night you sucker-punched him and handcuffed him to the tree outside. He believes the leather blackjack attached to his wrist will make the difference this time and you know, he’s itching to find out,” he said with a smirk on his pockmarked face.

“Bring him on! I’m ready!” I said, clenching both fists and stretching up to my full height of six feet three inches.

“Dev, sit down,” said Captain, tossing a twenty-dollar bill onto our table. “Here’s for the damage. We won’t cause any more trouble tonight, okay?”

The bartender scooped up the bill with his left hand and headed back toward the bar, slapping the towel against his right leg as he walked.

I picked up my chair and sat down, looking across the table at Captain Salvatore Testa, my best friend since attending third grade together at Holy Rosary Grade School, in what used to be Little Italy in northeast Los Angeles. Time had treated Captain well over the previous twenty-six years. Thick dark hair and clear brown eyes complemented his iron-man chiseled body. But his phone call at 1700 hours to meet him at Bundy’s Bar, near Echo Park, had irked me because I had other plans for the evening, which had to be canceled.

“Is this about Kathy?” he whispered.

Just hearing her name spoken by a friend who knew her prodded me out of my sour attitude into a solemn one. You’d think that I would have been better about hiding my feelings after eighteen months, but the guilt I felt over her brutal murder had not lessened one bit inside me. Whiskey helped, but still the nightmares returned every night, showing her bloody body lying in that hospital’s parking lot. Her second trimester baby boy, which had been ripped out of her stomach, lay atop her. His decapitated head had never been found and was probably resting in the murderer’s trophy case.

“How can it not be? She was my kid sister, for heavens’ sake. I practically raised her after Mom died.”

“Dev, I know, I know,” whispered Captain leaning across the table, “but are you working on her case?”

“I work it on my off-hours. So, it’s not hurting your precious budget.”

Captain slammed the table with his right fist.

“Lieutenant Sheehan, we’re talking about conflict of interest, not my budget!”

“Cap, she and her son’s murders have officially been placed in the cold case file. You know as well as I do with three to four hundred new homicides in LA every month and an understaffed police force, their murders will never be worked again. I promised myself I would find that man and bring him to justice.”

He blew out his breath. “What do you have so far?”

“I have copies of all the files and reports. I’ve checked them out. The biggest error that I can see is that the investigators focused too long on a seventeen-year old MS-13 member. Eventually, a cop came forward with an alibi for the kid, saying he was in a fight at a McDonalds, twenty miles from the murder scene. By that time, the investigators overlooked what I believe was the best lead.”

“Okay, I’m hooked. Tell me more.”

“A witness saw a medium sized, well-built, red-haired man with a grocery bag walking down the sidewalk. She said he had a large “Roll Tide” tattoo on his left shoulder and wore black pants, black shoes and a black sleeveless t-shirt.”

“What are you doing with that info?”

“If the man was walking, it means he may have lived in the area. So, I’m going door to door. Someone is bound to know something, right?”

“Keep me in the loop and don’t do anything crazy.”

“Okay.”

Captain folded his arms across his chest.

“I didn’t call you here to talk about your investigation or your life. I came to ask you to head a security detail tomorrow, guarding Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Grayson Armstrong and three other important men.”

“What?”

“General Armstrong will be hosting a meeting with General Yitzhak Ben-David of Israel, General Akeem Najjar of Jordan and General Rashad Kadir of Syria at LAX Airport tomorrow at 0700 hours. It’s a secret meeting and will be held in a cordoned off room. We are backup to the Elite Special Reaction Team Forces who are guarding the four generals, but I want our butts covered.”

“What if I say no?” I asked, knowing his answer ahead of time.

“Then I’d have to order you to do it, Lieutenant Sheehan.”

“Okay, my answer is yes.”

Captain handed a command packet with all of the needed codes and security info across the table to me. I slipped it into my jacket pocket, next to my backup pistol.

“And Lieutenant Sheehan?”

“Yes, Cap.”

He stood up, leaned over and looked straight into my eyes. “I’m walking out of Bundy’s Bar right now and so are you. That’s an order.”

I smiled and stood up.

“Hey, bartender,” I shouted over my shoulder at the bartender. He turned to look at me. “Tell Shorty, I’ll see him next time, when I’m alone.”

Be honest about what you think, okay?

 

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Will We End Up Being A Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 3)

I have used this story before, but this time, I use it from a different angle.

In the early 1990’s, Larry Burkett told a story on his radio program, “Money Matters,” that still sends shivers down my spine. Burkett told about the time he attended a local church and heard a Chinese man tell his testimony.

It seems the man was a lieutenant of Mao Zedong when Mao’s communist army defeated Chiang Kai-Shek and took control of China. Mao then set out to cleanse China of all imperialist influences, especially American connections. Missionaries were sent home or killed. Chinese pastors were imprisoned or killed. Christians were killed. Political leaders, people who had visited America or attended schools there were killed.  Historians estimate 40,000,000 Chinese were executed by Mao during his various purges.

The man, who told this testimony, was chosen by Mao as one of the leaders in the rural purges. He dispatched his tasks with cruel efficiency. But some Christians focused their prayers on him and he was miraculously saved. So convinced was the man that Christ was the answer for China he decided to return to Peking (Beijing) and tell Mao the good news of Jesus.

Mao was not impressed with his lieutenant’s message and commanded him to renounce his new found faith. The man refused and said, “I cannot deny the experience I’ve had with Jesus.”

Mao brought his wife and children before the man. Soldiers stood behind his family with guns aimed at their heads. Once again, Mao asked the man to renounce his faith. The man fell to his knees and said, “Please do not kill my family, but I cannot deny Jesus.”

His family was executed before his eyes.

Next, his parents, brothers, sisters and their families were brought before the man with soldiers standing behind them with guns at their heads. Mao insisted the man renounce Jesus. The man refused. His entire family was executed before his eyes.

All of his friends and their families were placed in front of him, but still he would not renounce Christ. They were executed.

Then, Mao decided death was too good for this reprobate of a man. He was stripped naked and placed in a cold cell. Once a day, guards were ordered to beat him.

His imprisonment and beatings continued for fifteen years. During that time, the man led 90% of the guards to Christ and the guards even risked their own freedoms by bringing Bibles to him.

When he finally emerged from prison, he walked down a road, heading toward his hometown. As he walked, people in the fields next to the road, fell to their knees and cried out to be saved by Jesus. Yet, the man said nothing because the presence of God was so heavy upon him that he just continued to walk.

Larry Burkett said that when the Chinese man finished his testimony he was asked, “What do you think of our American churches?”

The man gazed at the audience with tears in his eyes. “You American Christians do not know the Jesus I know,” he said.

But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:33)

If we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12)

This man’s testimony shines a light on a worst-case scenario for all of us believers. We obviously all hope to never face such terrible circumstances, but what if we do? Could we still hold onto Jesus and not deny Him?

I don’t believe any of us can pass a test like this without having the following revelations:

  1. Our Father is a good God. We can trust Him with our lives and the lives of our family and friends.
  2. Our Father is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present everywhere at once) and omniscient (all-knowing). In His omniscience, He saw the circumstances before they happened and He still allowed us to go through them. He expects us to be faithful until the end, trusting Him till our last breath.
  3. God honors His word. God exalts His word about His authority and abides by His own rules.

If any of us do not have these revelations of our heavenly Father, we need to seek and ask Him for them. He desires to reveal Himself to us.

Remember: The number one reason for being a part of the Great Falling Away – now or in the future – will be denying Jesus and His character attributes.

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Hey Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 4)

A few days ago, another believer asked, “Larry, why are you so passionate? Why not just slow down and enjoy the last days of your life?”

“Because I will soon appear before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ and I fear that day,” I replied.

“What? Nobody thinks like that!”

“Well, I do and they should feel the same way,” I said.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others… (2 Corinthians 5:10-11)

Not long ago, I started a longterm vacation from Facebook and other social media outlets. Plus, I cut back following sports, watching TV, reading mystery novels and most other hobbies.

Why?

For some reason or another, I recently checked the Social Security Actuarial Life Tables and looked up what the life expectancy was for a man who is 73 years old. It turns out that on the average, I can expect to live 12.43 more years. Now, what this really means is that fifty percent of the men my age will be dead in 12.43 years.

Yes, I could live a lot longer, but the opposite is also true, I could live a lot less.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming novel:

A terrifying vision awakened me out of my spiritual slumber.

In it, I stood before the Judgment Seat of Christ. I wasn’t alone because hundreds of other believers stood there in numerous rows, waiting for the Judge − Jesus − to appear in front of us. I watched Him off to my left walking down my row with a torch in His right hand. He stopped in front of each believer, looked down and lit piles of what looked like grass and sticks at the feet of each person with His torch. The piles burst into flames. The piles quickly burnt out to reveal gold, silver, precious stones or nothing but scorch marks on the ground. Those who had precious metals and stones bowed down and worshipped the Lord. Those who had scorch marks wailed and screamed like they were in hell, even though they were in heaven.

I looked down at my feet and saw a puny pile. I knew this small heap represented all of my works done on earth for the Lord. Not much for a whole lifetime, I thought. A holy fear enveloped me.

I turned and looked at the person next to me and realized he was a successful Christian businessman, whom I greatly admired. He was an elder at Jedidiah Smith Community Church, Sunday school teacher, weekend street evangelist and well-known benefactor. The newspapers were always reporting on his philanthropy and many works.

I watched Judge Jesus bend over and light the businessman’s pile with His torch. The pile quickly burnt out to reveal nothing but scorch marks on the ground. The businessman fell to the ground and wailed at the top of his lungs. His screams echoed through my mind.

Oh no, I thought. If this businessman’s life did not please the Lord, how will mine be any better?

The Lord stood in front of me.

I looked into His eyes and knew His love was not on trial, but mine was at that moment. He bent over, ready to touch my puny pile with His torch.

“Lord, give me a second chance,” I pleaded.

He looked at me without straightening up. His torch remained close to my pile. “And what would you do differently?”

“I will serve you night and day without complaining. If need be, I will crawl on my knees across San Francisco on streets covered with broken glass to be Your ambassador. I will gladly carry cups of cold water to people, minister to them as Your servant and if you need a martyr for Your kingdom purposes, I volunteer myself for that assignment.”

He straightened up and looked me squarely in the eyes. His love melted every hindrance in my heart. “Remember to do your works to please Me, not to please other people like this businessman did during his life. He received his reward on earth. Go and be My servant.” (From upcoming novel, Still in the Fight)

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to check out the whole series to date, click here.)

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God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 3)

“I’m here because somebody marched,” Obama said in a speech in Selma, Ala. “I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants.” (Barack Obama, Selma, Alabama, March 2007)

During his first run for president, Barack Obama seemed poised to achieve many of the goals that activists like the Greensboro Four had first set. It was a mantle that he explicitly took up, calling himself a member of the “Joshua Generation.” As in: Moses got the Hebrews out of Egypt and nearly to the Promised Land, but he couldn’t cross over the Jordan. That task was left to Joshua.

“The previous generation, the Moses generation, pointed the way. They took us 90 percent of the way there. But we still got that 10 percent in order to cross over to the other side,”Obama said in Selma, Alabama, in March 2007. “So the question, I guess, that I have today is what’s called of us in this Joshua generation?” (David A. Graham, The Atlantic, October 12, 2016)

In one of the ironies of ironies, whites brought the gospel of the kingdom of God to the blacks. Some heard about Jesus from Moravian missionaries that boarded slave ships to the West Indies. There on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix they preached the good news to the slaves.

But most black slaves received the gospel with the backing of their Southern white plantation owners who were mainly Baptists. These same owners allowed certain black men to receive a little schooling so they could read the Bible and become pastors to the slaves.

These black pastors who could read studied how God delivered Israel from Egypt. This became the slaves’ hope – “if God delivered Jewish slaves, He will do it for black slaves, too.

Negro spirituals, such as “We Shall Overcome,” “Go Down, Moses,” “Wade in the Water,” and others gave voice to the slaves’ faith in God and encouraged other slaves. The songs were acts of faith and prayers at the same time.

There’s not much good which can be said about the evils of slavery, except that it produced a depth of the spirit in black Americans. This spiritual depth brought forth the Civil Rights marches and men like Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy and others who were determined to see the blacks set free.

The importance black churches played in the Civil Rights Movement and the years afterward can not be overstated. They focused their communities on the long-held promises of freedom and kept them moving toward their goal.

Yet, I believe Barack Obama spoke prophetically that black Americans “still got that 10 percent in order to cross over to the other side.”

How will this be achieved?

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Does God Ever Let Us Down?

Another believer and I recently listened to the Christian song, King of My Heart. The words of the chorus – “You’re never going to let me down” – prompted a discussion between us.

“Those words aren’t always true,” said the believer.

“Really?” I said, not having a better answer at that moment.

“Those words certainly haven’t been true for me!”

Then, the believer proceeded to list various times how God had let the believer down. Most of these were financial disappointments with a couple of unexpected family deaths tossed into the mix. Our conversation died after a few minutes.

I returned to my work, but I spent the next few days meditating over the words of the song before I came up with a better answer.

So, does God ever let us down?

YES!

That is, God will always let us down if we view Him through our uncrucified American mindset which believes God is our Sugar Daddy in the sky who will keep us from any hardships or disappointments while we live here on earth.

Jesus warned us ahead of time about this when He said: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Brother Yun gives a pick-up-your-cross-daily point of view in his biography, The Heavenly Man:

Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, “I’ve been praying that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in peace.”

“This is not what we pray!” said Brother Yun, a Chinese house church leader. “We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus: ‘The government will be on His shoulders.’ 

“God has used China’s government for His own purposes, molding, and shaping His children as He sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.

“Don’t pray for the persecution to stop. We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure. Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects His love and power.”

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:28 AMP)

Once, we give our lives to the Lord, we become clay in the Potter’s hand. He uses every disappointment, affliction, persecution and whatever to mold and conform us into the image of His Son. The Father’s desire is that we might count everything else in our lives as rubbish when compared to knowing His Son.

So, does God ever let us down?

No!

None of us will stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ and accuse our Father of letting us down. This won’t happen, but sadly, many of us may be shown how we have let the Father down.

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Inside Israel

Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13)

Greetings DEAR brothers and sisters, in The precious Name of Yeshua h’meshiach – Jesus The Messiah.  May HE be blessed and glorified, and may you each be deeply grounded, encouraged and blessed.

At this moment, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, I could not stretch my strength further today and travel to Modein tonight to join with brothers and sisters together at the grave of our dear sister and brothers, Sophi, Rodrigo and baby Itai.  It is the shloshim or 30 days and a time for closing of the early days of grieving. Many believers (and many air force soldiers) are  gathering together  as I write, to strengthen the family at the grave site.  I am there in heart.  It was also Rodrigo’s birthday…

At the same time, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, huge fires are raging in both parts of Alaska that were my home.  In the Valley area and also in Bristol Bay.  The village that my husband was born in, a remote village of some 65 people, is on fire and in danger of being completely destroyed.  It is so remote that there are no fire fighting facilities and residents are attempting to beat it back….

At the same time, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, my boss of 21 years had a heart attack today.  Thankfully it was a light one and he has already had catheterization, but it was emotionally intense and puts the future of the Doctor’s office where I work in question.

And that was just today.

There is a temptation to be thrown off kilter ( or at least, it is for me) and try to do more than observe all of this and pray. I want to become fully involved with every cell of my being.

It got me thinking about the Indonesian tsunami that happened in 2004 which killed some 230,000 people. What I remember about the calamity was being stunned by a report that the power of the massive movement of all of that water had shifted the earth on its axis.  If you are interested, there is much scientific data.  A cursory google search just now turned up this rather easily read report —

“The devastating earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean on 26 December was so powerful that it has accelerated the Earth’s rotation, geophysicists have declared. They estimate that the shockwave shortened the period of our planet’s rotation by some three microseconds.

The change was caused by a shift of mass towards the planet’s centre, as the Indian Ocean’s heavy tectonic plate lurched underneath Indonesia’s one, say researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This caused the globe to rotate faster, in the same way that a spinning figure-skater accelerates by tucking in her arms.

The blast literally rocked the world on its axis, add Richard Gross and his NASA colleagues. They estimate that Earth now tilts by an extra 2.5 centimetres in the wake of the jolt.

The shortening of Earth’s day is no cause for consternation, particularly in light of the huge humanitarian crisis sparked by Sunday’s events. The death toll from the tsunami that lashed coasts across the Indian Ocean has now passed 100,000.

“I would be stunned if there was any change in the rotation rate that would necessitate addition or subtraction of a leap second.”

But the change will nonetheless be relevant to physicists charged with keeping the world’s official time, which since 1967 has been based on a battery of around 250 highly accurate atomic clocks in 60 labs throughout the world. These labs report to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris, which sets the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).”

 

So, those of you who have been commenting on ‘time speeding up’ are scientifically correct. 

But back to “the temptation.”  It seems to me that the temptation is to spin off center.  To be caught up in the intensity of all of this emotion.  Surely Jesus wept!  I am DEFINITELY NOT saying not to be emotionally involved since it is The Lord Who gave us compassion and emotions.  But the same Lord gave us balance and COMMANDED us to follow HIM.  I can’t follow Him very well if my eyes are elsewhere, even on the waves that are about to encompass me.

With this thought in mind, I found myself laughing about this on the train today.

The Jerusalem bus drivers are notorious for using passengers like bowling balls. You know: look in your mirror and there they are!  Passengers!  Lined up for a perfect STRIKE! Step on the brakes and swerve quickly, how many can be knocked over at once?

  Yes, I am exaggerating for humor’s sake, but it really feels as if we are bowling balls sometimes.  Today the train played a similar trick.  Usually the drivers brake slowly but perhaps the brakes were sticky today and WHAM!  Every time there was occasion to brake, we all went flying.   Keeping babies, packages and old people balanced was a challenge.

Physically, I lose my balance more easily these days, and I DON’T want to lose SPIRITUAL balance, too.

“Occupy till I come.” 

The Lord admonished us in the parable in Luke 19.

In John 15-17 and SO many other places He tells us that we are IN the world but not OF the world, and that was spoken in Israel, to Israelis first. So, HOW AM I TO WALK in the streets of Jerusalem when my own personal world is turning upside down? Experiencing an axis-tipping tsunami and my country at the same time is actively fighting wars on each border. Plus, NASTY FILTHY elections taking place AGAIN. I see the streets filthy and people worn with fatigue and cares of this world…

 “Occupy till I come.”

It’s that old Israeli army saying again about standing on your spot and guarding that ONE SPOT assigned to you: h’a’zek b’ma’amad. Hold on!  Stand your ground! Hold on to The Lord AND hold on to the vision. This is what He wants me to do at any given moment.

You are probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Well, duh!  OF COURSE!”

But it hasn’t been that easy, and yet I see that it really IS what He is calling me to do.  He keeps telling me to “Walk past the graves…even as HE DID!’  He walked right OUT of them.  His eyes were on His Father and HE AROSE TO GIVE US ETERNAL SALVATION WITH VICTORY.

Keep my eyes on Him when people look at me and ask me about what we believe or reject me and get angry for the same.  Keep my eyes on Him when my boss has a heart attack. The 21 years of work may just be over NOW, BUT I have committed my care and feeding to Him and that is settled.  My eyes on HIM.

To keep my eyes on Him when the tiny remote village so key in my family history just might fade into the past before my eyes. MY EYES ON HIM.  When the bank tells me that if I don’t make an appointment via an “app.” (Sorry guys, but I’m in technological rebellion perhaps.)

I can not cash my paycheck (deposited by law) or do any other banking business. The world is changing SO QUICKLY and yet He is giving me NO SLACK to fret or become indignant or to go anywhere for help but to HIM.

The changes aren’t letting me catch my breath. And here is a good one … make that two:

One thing that I have lacked for so long has been a steady prayer partner.  I am all for closet prayer and enjoy it daily, but I have been unable to get out at night when our prayer meetings take place aside from on Friday morning. Then I am there for such a short time.  The Lord has brought a DEAR close friend to stay with us for awhile and we have been able to pray DAILY together.  It made me realize how I was starved for a prayer partner, true fellowship before the throne.  THANK  YOU LORD!

 Thank you for praying for my trip to England and my time of sharing my testimony with my family.

My 15 year old Grandson, our oldest Grandchild, had been to a Bible camp in California while they lived there. This year, he chose to go back to the camp. This time, he gave his heart to The Lord. I have received a few messages from him and of course am praying for him to be ROOTED, GROUNDED, FRUIT BEARING, SUBMITTING TO GOD AND RESISTING THE DEVIL, LOVING THE WORD AND RIGHTLY DIVIDING IT AS THE WORD OF TRUTH AND NOT BEING DECEIVED OR TURNED ASIDE.  I believe, that HE Who has begun a good work in Noah, will perform it until that last day.  And even in THIS I must keep my balance.

Thank you for your prayers for me, my family,  and for this country, which IS  central in the Heart of God and pivotal in the last days, as from the beginning. May The Lord be blessed and Alone may He be glorified and adored.  May you be encouraged and blessed.

Lovingly,

Your sister J

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Filed under Israel, Jerusalem, jesus, Kingdom of God, One new man, Prophecy, Terrorist attacks

God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 2)

 

70% of African-Americans live in America’s inner cities or inner-ring suburbs. Most of the following facts refer to that 70% of African-Americans. These facts are not written to throw stones at our inner city black brothers and sisters, but to show where they are right now.

  1. The abortion rate for African-American women is five times higher than it is for white women, accounting for 37% of all abortions in America.
  2. 1 in 3 African-American men can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetimes.
  3. 70% of juvenile arrests in America are African-American youths.
  4. One third of all welfare recipients are African-Americans.
  5. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.
  6. 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. 
  7. Poverty rate among African-Americans is 36%.
  8. The homicide rate among males between the ages of 14 and 17 is nearly 10 times higher for blacks than for whites and Hispanics combined.
  9. The preponderance of school violence in America occurs in big-city schools attended by inner city black students.
  10. Black education is in a state of shambles for elementary and high schools in most inner cities of America.

Without a doubt, the above facts are discouraging, but here’s the irony of it all:

  1. Inner city African-Americans are the most devout Christian group in America and the difference is 21 percentage points higher than the next group.

With the exception of the inner cities blacks being devout Christians, these facts are disheartening.

They remind me of the time a little black six-year old black girl named Cici sat on my lap during a church service at the inner city ministry I attended during the 1990s. She looked up at me and asked, “Can I go home with you and live with you?”

I was shocked at her words. “You want to leave your mother and live with me?” I replied.

Cici nodded her head up and down.

I understood her feelings about her home life. Her mom was a drug addict. Her dad was in jail, but numerous men lived with her mom at various times. Her four brothers and sisters ranged in age from two to twelve years old. Not enough money. Not enough love. Not enough personal attention.

I actually prayed about doing what she asked, but my life was a mess, too.

Cici would be thirty-two years old today…if she’s still alive.

“Life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options.” (Thomas Sowell)

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