While every day of my life since being saved from my sins on Easter Sunday 1977 is a day I give thanks for, this Thanksgiving I am beside myself with praise and thanks to God for keeping His Word in Philippians 4:19 to me (and available to all) on the ninth of this month! On that day my brother, Richard and sister-in-law, Vicki Kelley, helped our Ministry reach its campaign goal for funds needed to support my continued full-time service this year.1 As with so many in this year of the Lord’s Coronavirus pestilence, I too, faced the prospect of layoff without God’s provision through those that reverence Him and had the means from His provision to them (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)!
For this reason, I also give thanks to God for and thank every soul that has contributed to the campaign to date. I have prayed and pray for His blessing of increase upon you both financially and spiritually (2 Corinthians 9:10-11)! These contributors include my wife and other family members, our current Directors Alvin Johnson and Richard Anderson and supporters old, new, named or anonymous on our fundraising platform. I also want to specially thank Rosie, widow of Director Philip Lovings, who had prayed for the campaign in our March board meeting before he departed to the Lord in April as well as family member, Miron Washington, for helping the Ministry reach the goal.
Now, while I overflow with joy and thanksgiving, I have not forgotten about those who have had it rough this year. I was careful to note parenthetically earlier that the same God and His promise of provision in His Word are available to all! How? Repent and believe the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ: that He died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day. If you do that, you will be forgiven of your sins and born again through the Holy Spirit who will come to live in and make you an adopted son of God (Acts 2:36-39; Romans 8:14-17). Father God takes care of His children. Therefore, with the great apostle I also exclaim above all from the heart: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15; Philippians 4:20, NKJV)!
A blessed Thanksgiving to all who know and love God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ!
1 You can read about my day of rejoicing and thanksgiving at https://fundrazr.com/salarycampaign1.
This Memorial Day I want to remember the sixty-six Tuskegee Airmen1 that died in battle during World War II and the remainder of that unique group of black Americans who have their rightful place among “The Greatest Generation” dying each passing year. I originally wrote this post for Black History Month as the Lord led. However, in His continuing leadership, I make this edited repost now, not only appropriately for Memorial Day, but also to acknowledge the reality of these black American men--many of whom were professing Christians--that lived not as victims, but victors as Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. prepares to celebrate the 25th Year Anniversary of its “From Slavery To Victory Education Project”2 on Juneteenth this year.
Originally Posted February 5, 2012
February is Black History Month in America. While I concur wholeheartedly with those that contend the important history of black Americans and their contributions ought to be taught as an integral part of American History, the fact is, our nation’s educational system still has a way to go to make this a reality. Until then, it is good to continue with the educational aim of black educator Carter G. Woodson when he established a Black History observance in the third decade of the last century.
Woodson wanted blacks who were intentionally excluded from the history books produced by whites, to be able to celebrate the significant historical contributions of members of their own race and feel good about themselves. Today, we want all Americans to feel good about the historical contributions of blacks to the building of the nation. To this end, I am pleased to recommend that all Americans see the movie, Red Tails, produced by George Lucas of Star Wars fame.
The film is based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen--an all black fighter pilot squadron out of the famed Tuskegee Institute of Alabama that greatly contributed to the success of Allied air efforts in World War II. Positioned in Italy, in the film plot the squadron’s pilots are frustrated with the lack of opportunity to engage in air battles because racism in the Military has branded them inferior and incapable. Anxious to demonstrate their air prowess while racially belittled by white counterparts in segregated camps, the men are soon given their opportunity and the results are the stuff of legend.
Red Tails is an important look at the ugly reality of racial discrimination and segregation in American History. This is a reality that though not as overt as it once was, is still covertly practiced even in America’s churches and a reason “the race card” still has power. The well produced movie is also an examination of the purposeful and noble choice the Tuskegee Airmen made to courageously fight the enemies of and die for the nation that oppressed them like enemies. Many of these men were (are) Christians and profile the heart of the aspiring strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.3 They shine as over comers rather than victims (1 John 5:4-5).
I do want to acknowledge my daughter, Roberta Kelley, for getting her dad involved with a “Living History Day” project under the direction of then history teacher Ken Buckles at Milwaukie High School in Milwaukie, Oregon back in 1998-99. On that occasion, we hosted one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Ed German and a later comrade, Bill Holloway who were in town for the school event. We had a great time learning about their experiences. I commend Mr. Buckles (who is white) for wanting his primarily white students to know American History as it really is: the story of a nation comprised of people from every race that have all made important contributions to its historical achievements.
1 National World War II Museum history of the Tuskegee Airmen. For more information about the Tuskegee Airmen see also http://tuskegeeairmen.org/.
2 The From Slavery To Victory Education Project uniquely presents a biblical worldview of the facts of black history to glorify God and promote healing, hope and help
for black Americans grappling with our experience.
3 My book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
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