Prayers for President Jimmy Carter

Leave a comment Standard
English: US President Jimmy Carter

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Dear President Jimmy Carter:

Although I don’t agree with you on most political issues, we share strong affinities on faith, family and altruism. Your greatest impact on humanity has come after serving as President of the United States of America. The invaluable work you’ve done to promote peace, human rights, democracy, fair elections, healthcare and much more for people across the globe will forever be appreciated.  President Carter, you’re truly a great man. The significant difference you’ve made in the lives of countless individuals across the world is honored by God. God is now using you as an example for the world to see how to fight cancer with faith, grace, and trust in Jesus Christ.  You’re showing the world that a cancer diagnosis is not a reason to lose all hope.

While most folks in your situation would become despondent, cry profusely, and talk persistently about dying, you’ve made a commitment to smiling, sharing your underrated humor and continuing to focus on the impressive philanthropic work you’ve been engaged in for a long time with the Carter Center.

Christians are to serve as examples for the world about how to respond to illness and disease.  The way in which you have responded to cancer is a shining example of how the bible teaches us to respond. When we place our life in the hands of God, He takes care of us, and we have to remind people that death does not have the final word. Because of what Jesus accomplished for us on Calvary’s Cross, death no longer has any power.

President Carter, I want you to stay encouraged and continue to live an inspiring life. People across the world are praying for you to be healed and delivered from this cancer that has come from the pit of Hell. You’re a man of God and Satan’s diseases have no right and authority to dwell in your body. As a person of great faith, I speak healing and deliverance to your body right now.  I apply and appropriate the Blood of Jesus Christ on you right now. By faith, according to Mark 11:23-24, you’re already healed and made whole!

Keep placing all of your trust in God.

Sincerely,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Beware of the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2015

Comments 3 Standard
Jonathan Williams Arkansas Razorbacks

(Photo Credit: Whole Hogs Sports)

Don’t be surprised if the Arkansas Razorbacks win the SEC Championship in 2015.  As Bret Bielema enters his third season as the Head Hog, he has restored toughness, discipline and power to the team.  We had an opportunity to witness the type of team to expect this season in the final four games of last season and against Alabama.  The Hogs won three of their last four games last season, including back-to-back shutouts of ranked SEC opponents LSU and Ole Miss, and the team concluded the season by crushing Texas in the Texas Bowl—not allowing the Longhorns to earn even 60 total yards.  Let’s not forget Arkansas nearly defeated mighty Alabama, losing by only one point.  In every loss last season, the Razorbacks were close to winning and probably should have won each one of those close games.  In the Auburn game, the Hogs were tied with the Tigers at halftime.  However, former Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney abandoned the running game—the strength of the Arkansas offense—and the Tigers were able to capitalize on his misguided offensive strategy (or lack thereof).

The Year of the Hogs?

The Hogs are ready to win the SEC Championship this year.  Although the Hogs surrendered a few valuable defensive players to the NFL, the team returns the core of its offense, defense and special teams.  Last season, Arkansas had one of the best defenses and offenses in the nation.  Based on Arkansas having fundamentally the same squad it had last year, including some talented new players, we can expect the team to continue to improve and surprise many teams in the SEC and stun many college football fans across the nation.  The recently released pre-season coaches’ poll has Arkansas ranked as the #20 team in the nation.  However, Las Vegas gamblers—people willing to put their money where their mouths are—have Arkansas ranked as the #6 team in the nation.

When Arkansas Goes on Offense

Again, Arkansas has the largest offensive line in football: both college and NFL.  The offensive line is not only massive but also highly talented and athletic.  Arkansas has two of the best running backs, Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, in the nation—arguably the best running back duo in the country.  This season the Hogs will feature a third solid running back, Kody Walker, giving the Razorbacks a three-headed monster rushing attack.  Bielema is committed to a power running game—just as he was at Wisconsin—and it’s paying tremendous dividends for him at Arkansas and will continue to pay even greater dividends for him this season and beyond.  With new offensive coordinator Dan Enos at the helm, Brandon Allen, Arkansas’ senior quarterback, seems to have made significant improvements during the off-season, and Enos has been a proven-leader in ameliorating passing games and producing quality passing games.  The success the Hogs will have on offensive will aid them immensely on defense as they’re bound to dominate the time of possession in most games this season.

A Tough but Doable Schedule

Again, the Razorbacks will have one of the toughest schedules to combat, but a few huge wins can propel them to the SEC Championship game and give them a chance to play in this season’s National Championship.  It will be difficult to defeat Alabama on the road, but remember the Hogs only loss by one point to the Crimson Tide last year.  Also, it will be difficult to go on the road and defeat Ole Miss and LSU, but remember the Hogs shutout both teams in back-to-back weeks last season.

Teams situated in the SEC West have to win big games almost every week and Arkansas understands this by now.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Arkansas

Carole Arceneaux’s James: Faith Becomes Real: A Short Review

Comments 2 Standard
The Book of James Commentary

(Courtesy of BookLook Bloggers)

In James: Faith Becomes Real, Carole Arceneaux offers readers a commentary on the Book of James.  The book provides readers with a verse-by-verse and chapter-by-chapter analysis of the entire Book of James.  While the dominant purpose of the work is to be a commentary, it strives to be a devotional as well.

If one has little background or understanding of the Book of James, then Arceneaux’s work will be helpful to him or her.  Most effective commentaries are academic in nature.  When a person reads this book, he or she will immediately notice that it lacks the authoritative voice typical of academic discourse.  In all other commentaries I have read, I learned something new or had my prior knowledge expanded.  Unfortunately, this book did not benefit me in any way.

Although the effort to add a devotional dimension to a commentary is an interesting and rewarding idea, the devotional aspect of this work seemed more about filling the pages to meet a page number quota.  The book simply lacks the depth necessary to be considered a serious commentary.  Arceneaux’s work certainly could have benefitted from better revision and editing.  Many of the sentences lack the clarity they needed to achieve.

In short, I would not recommend reading this book.  Some elements of James: Faith Becomes Real have potential.  The book, however, needed more work before it was published.

In exchange for my honest critique of James: Faith Becomes Real, BookLook Bloggers supplied me with a complimentary copy of it.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

J.D. Greear’s Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You: A Brief Summary and Thoughtful Reflection

Comments 7 Standard
J.D. Greear

Pastor J.D. Greear and family
(Photo Credit: The Summit Church)

In Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better Than Jesus Beside You, J.D. Greear explores how the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, living on the inside of Believers enables them to experience a relationship with God that is more empowering and fulfilling than the relationship Believers enjoyed when the Incarnate Christ dwelled on earth. Greear emphasized that one cannot fulfill the will of the Lord without the active presence of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. This work calls for individuals to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, resulting in the individual experiencing a personal and spiritual renaissance.

Greear’s book evinces that one of the greatest benefits of receiving the grace of God is having the Holy Spirit live inside of the individual. In a time when too many people and churches are deemphasizing and neglecting the Holy Spirit, this work provides a valuable contribution to the Christian community by revealing it is the free operation of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Believer that enables him or her to experience a satisfying life in this present world. The practical biblical truths this book extends to readers allows them to gain a deeper appreciation for the Holy Spirit, and it challenges readers to become more connected to the power of the Holy Spirit.

I highly recommend that Believers read Greear’s work to learn how to unleash the full power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to pen an authentic review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Caitlyn Jenner and the Celebration of Mediocrity: Let’s Change the Channel

Comments 4 Standard
Caitlyn Jenner

(Photo Credit: Vulture)

Bruce Jenner has decided to become Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman, and too many people across the country are foolishly viewing Jenner as a hero—please stop the madness! Before many of you begin to see this transgender woman as a hero, it’s important to allow serious investigation to take place about her potentially being a murderer. In America, we’re becoming so fascinated with the uncanny or spectacle that a celebration of mediocrity is taking root across the nation. While I’m not discriminating against anyone, including Bruce Jenner, for becoming transgender, I am criticizing how many view the transition to transgender as heroic—it’s not; it’s a calculated choice. Don’t be fooled by media’s attempt to depict Caitlyn Jenner as a hero and courageous. Jenner and her family have a history of loving the limelight and money. Are we approaching a historical and cultural epoch in America where making a transition to transgender is a solemn human accomplishment? If so, America is certainly headed for decline.

At the 2015 ESPYS, ESPN gave Caitlyn Jenner the 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award. ESPN’s standards for courage have now become conspicuously low. Bob Costas, NBC News journalist and sports analyst and someone who certainly isn’t a right-wing Republican by any stretch of the imagination, posits that Jenner was given the award as “a crass exploitation play” and “tabloid play.” I couldn’t agree more with Costas. When one considers that Caitlyn Jenner could make $500 million in the coming years for simply being transgender, it’s obvious that ESPN exploited the news surrounding Jenner, and we see what could be the true reason why Bruce Jenner decided to transition into Caitlyn Jenner: money. No matter how much money Jenner makes it doesn’t make becoming a transgender woman an accomplishment.

Although much of American popular culture offers great value, some dimensions of it has caused us to lower our standards about what authentic achievement really means. When Beyoncé’s recent “big announcement” can lead numerous people to take off of their jobs to watch and hear it, this signals we need to return to celebrating genuine accomplishments. We have become too fascinated with inane phenomena. It’s time for more Americans to commit to true achievement. Instead of focusing on Caitlyn Jenner, more Americans need to concern themselves with high academic achievement. Across the nation, countless students and teachers are achieving extraordinary feats truly deserving of even greater attention than Jenner has received. Also, American small business entrepreneurs across the nation are accomplishing amazing phenomena each day. Unfortunately, too many would rather celebrate a man’s simple transition to a transgender woman than a young black man’s journey to being accepted into every Ivy League institution.

Political correctness attempts to compel people to support inconsequential phenomena as if they’re significant. If individuals are unwilling to give praise to Caitlyn Jenner, then they will be attacked as “transphobic,” “bigots” and “discriminatory.” Although none of the aforementioned labels accurately describe me, if you desire to label me in such a way for not believing becoming transgender is heroic, courageous and an accomplishment, then I will proudly where your disparaging labels as badges of honor.

America is the nation that produced such greatness as George Washington Carver, Alexander Graham Bell, Toni Morrison, Bill Gates, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Jordan, Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell, Carter G. Woodson, Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Sheryl Sandberg, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, and Oprah Winfrey. All of the aforementioned truly accomplished individuals have been and are celebrated. Now, many are celebrating Caitlyn Jenner—something is wrong with this picture. Let’s change the channel.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Freddie Gray and Eric Garner Didn’t Have to Die: Open Season on Black Males in America

Comments 4 Standard

 

Freddie Gray

(Photo Credit: The Grio)

Freddie Gray in Baltimore and Eric Garner in New York didn’t have to die. Before some of you begin to respond with “they shouldn’t have gotten arrested,” being arrested has never meant an automatic termination of life. Okay, Gray and Garner both engaged in activities that violated the criminal law. Is there a new standard in America now that says a violation of the criminal law automatically results in the dissolution of an individual’s life? Well, in the cases of Gray and Garner, the police officers involved in their murders acted as if the answer is yes.

Are the murders of Gray and Garner all about race? No. Race did play an important factor but what happened to them is just as much about class and gender. First, let me disabuse some of the false notion that just because there were a few black cops involved in Freddie Gray’s murder this effaces any connections between race and his death. Black people are just as much capable of internalizing and employing racist ideology as anyone else. Too often, when many blacks ascend to positions of power, they allow power to cause them to willing abandon their relation to the history and cultural experience of black people in America. Historical and cultural amnesia can result in a black person becoming just as racist, discriminatory and dangerous as any white supremacist. Therefore, miss me with the faulty argument that race cannot be substantively involved in Gray’s murder.

In both cases, a racial and racist discourse informed the police officers involved. Most police officers across the country are doing a great job protecting and serving Americans. A small, yet significant percentage of police officers have declared open season on black males. The majority of these black males being murdered by unscrupulous white police officers come from low-income backgrounds. For these white officers, they see this intersection of race, gender and class in the context of poor black males as dangerous. Poor black males are disposable and burdens to society in their eyes.

All black boys and men’s lives matter. Yes, all lives matter. Right now, too many police officers fail to see the value of the lives of black males, which is why serious social, political, and civil and human rights activists should continue to emphasize that black lives matter. Unfortunately, the “all lives matter” campaign incongruously leads to black lives, especially black male lives, getting lost in the “all” of the “all lives matter” campaign.

Eric Garner

(Photo Credit: Gawker)

If you don’t want to see anymore Ferguson and Baltimore riots in any other areas across the nation, then it’s imperative for a small percentage of corrupt and racist police officers across the nation to discontinue unjustly murdering unarmed black males who don’t pose an imminent threat to them. Both black-led peaceful protests and riots in areas affected by unmerited killings of black males is increasingly engendering new black resistance movements. Although peace is a significant dimension of these new black resistance movements, retaliatory violence and vandalism are painful and costly aspects of these movements.

No longer are numerous black people across the nation succumbing to docile acceptance of unwarranted killings of their black boys and men. Many are communicating that they will meet unwarranted police murders of black lives with collective outrage and vandalism, and some are expressing that they will take the lives of white officers as a form of recompense for killing unarmed black males. These new black resistance movements are best encapsulated and delineated by Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die.” In the poem, McKay posits that if black people are going to die at the hands of their white oppressors, then they will die fighting back zealously and aggressively. Black people have never been weak—don’t expect this to ever change! If necessary, many blacks will continue to take justice into their own hands until their collective lives are valued much more.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Celebrate Parents of Military Men and Women: The Forgotten Heroes

Comments 2 Standard
Military Appreciation

Sgt. Nick Daniels and Ginnie Ann Daniels (mom) immediately before his wedding. 12/31/1999
Photo Courtesy of Ginnie Ann Daniels

The parents of the brave men and women in uniform who defend our nation deserve to be honored for their great sacrifices and all they do to support those who have and are serving our country. One of the most powerful ways to show appreciation to our servicemen and servicewomen is to honor their parents. Without question, we have the best military in the world. What makes our military the best in the world is the quality people who constitute it. Unfortunately, we often fail to pay homage to their parents—the individuals who produce these quality men and women.

Ginnie Ann Daniels, an Arkansas mom with a son in the military, has committed herself to passionate support of active duty military men and women and veterans. Mrs. Daniels has engaged in numerous efforts to evince her gratitude to those who have and are serving in our military. For example, she partnered with the Wounded Warriors Project to have parking lot signs posted in prominent places, including Walmart and the South Arkansas Art Center (SAAC) in El Dorado, Arkansas, that acknowledge the immense sacrifices veterans injured in combat have made. Ginnie understands that we should never forget to honor and care for our nation’s veterans.

Military Appreciation

Ginnie Ann Daniels posing for a picture at South Arkansas Art Center for a sign honoring wounded combat servicemen and servicewomen.
Photo courtesy of Ginnie Ann Daniels

Sergeant Nick Daniels, Ginnie Ann Daniels’ son, has and is serving tours of duty in some of the most dangerous regions in the world, including Afghanistan and Iraq. On yesterday, Ginnie and her husband celebrated their 42th wedding anniversary. Imagine how difficult it is for this loving couple to be separated from their son who is bravely serving our nation. Yes, they are proud of their son and the hero he is. This, however, does not make it any easier for them emotionally as they acknowledge the dangers Sergeant Nick Daniels faces in regions like Afghanistan and Iraq. His parents have to employ just as much faith as he does to maintain hope and courage while he serves.

Parents of military men and women are heroes too. The economic, emotional and physical sacrifices they have to make are highly commendable and not many would welcome those sacrifices. Although these parents are not physically on the battlefield with their son, they certainly are in spirit—not a moment goes by where they are not thinking about him, supporting him and praying for him.

Take a moment to contemplate about how difficult it is for Sargent Nick Daniels—a parent himself—to be separated from his young son while he’s serving. As a loving father, you know it’s a tremendous sacrifice to miss so many important moments with him. Also, consider the tremendous sacrifices his wife is making.

Military Appreciation

Sgt. Nick Daniels makes a surprise visit home to his wife and son in Houston, Texas.
Photo Courtesy of Ginnie Ann Daniels

While Mrs. Ginnie Daniels has been successful in numerous efforts to express meaningful appreciation to our servicemen, servicewomen and veterans, she has met some opposition and lack of support for her commendable work. For people who are devoted to the type of patriotic work she is involved in, we should do all possible to help her succeed.

Let’s keep Ginnie, her husband, Sergeant Nick Daniels, his wife and their entire family in our prayers. Today, we salute this wonderful family!

If you would like to make financial contributions to the family of Sergeant Nick Daniels, please feel free to contact me at antoniomdaniels@gmail.com, and my staff and I will provide you with the information necessary to submit your contributions directly to his family. Money is one gift we can give to the family to show our tangible gratitude and support for their noteworthy sacrifices.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison