A Prayer for Ferguson, Michael Brown’s Family, Unity and Justice

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Michael Brown's Murder

(Photo Credit: Slate)

Father God in the name of Jesus,

Right now, I ask that you would comfort and strengthen the family and friends of Michael Brown. You are the only one who can heal them in the places where they’re broken. They’ve been living with the reality Michael Brown died an unnecessary death. Darren Wilson allowed anger and disregard for Black life to result in the murder of Brown. Lord, only you can change the heart of Darren Wilson and all those like him who don’t value Black life. I ask you to change the hearts of people who don’t value Black life. Transform all hearts to love Black life. Have Wilson to turn himself in and confess his wrongdoings to the authorities. While many people will not believe that this will happen, everything we place in your powerful hands can be done.

Justice has not been served in the Michael Brown case. Lord, I ask you to bring swift justice in the Brown case. Let the people across the nation know that this “open season” on Black males is over. For those who are protesting in response to this injustice, give them hope that a brighter day is coming. Use the efforts of the protesters to engender and implement serious reforms regarding policing, beginning with a mandatory requirement that all police officers wear body cameras.

Jesus, you are the true answer to injustice. All of the best ideas in the world are inadequate without you. America needs an outpouring of love. Let what’s going on in Ferguson become the catalyst for life-changing love. People must understand that at the root of racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice is sin. Those without Salvation need to come to you Jesus and repent. Without you Lord, they are living in darkness and don’t have a true understanding of goodness.

We need unity in this country, but the senseless killings of Black boys and men across the nation will not promote unity. On this Thanksgiving, I ask that you unite the American people. We’re stronger as a nation when we’re united.

The voices of those who are protesting in Ferguson deserve to be heard and respected. Let their voices be heard and respected. Give the Brown family peace on this day. Let the family know that you’re still in control. Peace will come when justice prevails.

Again, Lord, bring your swift and righteous justice.

I ask all of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

There’s Healing Power Already in You

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Prayer

(Photo Credit: Samaritan’s Purse)

When you ask the Lord to forgive you for all your sins, and to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16), Jesus gives you power to conquer anything Satan brings against you. Luke 10:19 states, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”  When Satan sends all forms of sickness and diseases your way, use the power that Christ has given you to defeat sickness and diseases. To activate the healing power within you, you will need to pray and ask Jesus to remove sickness and disease from your body, and after you have prayed, believe that you’re already healed. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Use your mouth to ask Jesus for what you desire and believe that you have already received what you’ve asked Him. Now, thank Him for answering your prayer.

As Believers, we never have to accept a negative report given by a doctor. When a doctor gives us a negative report, we have to understand that Jesus has given us the Grace, His power, love and peace working on the inside of us, to destroy all chaos. Sickness and disease are chaotic phenomena—they are forces that attempt to stop you from beholding and trusting the Promises of God. Whenever one totally turns his or her mind away from the Promises of God, chaos takes over his or her life. As a Believer, Jesus has declared you the Righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:22), and, as the Righteousness of God, you need to declare that you’re already healed because God has already told you that you’re healed (Isaiah 53:5)—you must believe it to receive the physical manifestation of your healing (Mark 11:24).

At the core of why most people do not receive healing is a failure to sincerely ask Christ to heal them. When a request is made to Christ to grant healing, the person making the petition must already believe that he or she has been healed. Therefore, an earnest asking of Christ to do anything for you must be coupled with true belief that He has already performed what you’ve requested because of the genuine faith that accompanies your request. Also, if the person has any unrepented sin, then he or she must ask God to forgive this sin before the healing can take place.  The bible says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). As a Believer, you’re righteous because Jesus declared you to be righteous—not as a result of any righteousness or righteous works of your own. The aforementioned verse informs Believers that they have to ask for forgiveness from one another and pray for one another before God will heal them. You cannot, therefore, expect God to heal you when you’ve not forgiven someone for something he or she did to you.

The only work you need to do to receive your healing is trust that the Finished Work of Jesus Christ (accomplished at the Cross) has already healed you. Many teachers and preachers will have you to focus on doing works in your own strength, which evinces their ignorance of the Word of God (Galatians 5:16). We are, however, to cast all of our cares on Jesus Christ (I Peter 5:7), and this will allow Christ’s Grace to become activated in our lives to heal us. When we’re working, we cancel out the ability of Jesus to work for us because we’re communicating to Him that we can take care of the problems on our own; your handling of your problems without following the leadership of the Holy Spirit quenches Him (I Thessalonians 5:19).

Trust Jesus to heal your body right now.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Don’t Count Arkansas out against LSU

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Arkansas vs. LSU 2014

(Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas is a mighty tough place to play—even more so at night. Although the Hogs have yet to win an SEC game this season, they have been a tough out against every team they’ve faced, nearly defeating Texas A&M, Alabama, and Mississippi State. Arkansas Head Coach Bret Bielema has his team ahead of schedule and the team is so close to being something special. An SEC win can be the catalyst to propel the Hogs into being a truly elite football team. The Razorbacks are actually slightly favored in this game, and what an excellent way to end its losing streak against SEC opponents by defeating LSU, the Hogs’ greatest rival. This rivalry game is known as the Battle for the Golden Boot. When Arkansas and LSU play one another, throw out all of the records and statistics—only this game matters for the two teams. They simply don’t like one another.

Arkansas plays LSU at the right time: after LSU’s deflating overtime loss to Alabama. The Razorbacks have more hanging in the balance than LSU does: the team is trying to become bowl eligible. The Hogs must win two of the last three games to become bowl eligible. As long as the team performs well in the fourth quarter of each of the remaining games and demonstrates that it has learned how to close out games, the Hogs can legitimately win the final three games (all SEC games) on its schedule.

Both teams have similar styles. On offense, they both like to run the football—and run it often. Arkansas has the edge on offense. On defense, they’re both aggressive, although LSU has the edge on defense.

This game will ultimately come down to which team can perform the best in the passing game. Both teams can certainly benefit from improvement in the passing game. The LSU passing game will struggle against the Hogs because Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers will give LSU’s offensive line nightmares. When this game is over, the person who will have impacted the game the most will be Trey Flowers. He is a beast and will be playing in the NFL next season.

Arkansas will win 24-20.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Arkansas

Congratulations to Dr. Santresa L. Glass: Social Media and Business Expert

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Santresa L. Glass

(Photo Credit: Santresa L. Glass)

Today, Dr. Santresa L. Glass passed her doctoral dissertation defense and has been conferred a doctor of education in Organizational Leadership degree at Argosy University. The title of her dissertation is “Investigating the Effectiveness of Social Media: The Impact on Brand Identification and Organizational Performance in Small to Medium Business.” Less than 10 other dissertations have been written about social media; therefore, her dissertation positions her as one of the early leading experts in this area of research. Businesses of all sizes will benefit from the research she has conducted, especially small and medium-sized businesses.

Dr. Glass highlights the importance of having a sound strategic strategy for using social media platforms as vehicles for marketing, and she emphasizes how essential it is for businesses to empirically evaluate their social media marketing. She plans to have her dissertation published in book form soon, and Revolutionary Paideia will be the first media source to announce its publication and how you can obtain a copy.

Glass obtained her undergraduate degree in English at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia and a master’s degree in Management at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. She has over 10 years of executive business experience and over 10 years of experience as an educator.

Although Dr. Glass had to endure many challenges in her pursuit of the doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership, she found the perseverance and courage necessary to make it to the end of this rewarding journey. What lies ahead for her is endless possibilities.

Santresa, this is a day you will never forget. Never allow any overt and subtle negative messages from anyone to distract you from the significance of your accomplishments and from the bright future ahead of you. This is your day—make the most of it! Take time to celebrate Jesus and your accomplishments He made possible.

I would like for everyone to join me in congratulating Dr. Glass on her truly great accomplishments.

Today, you join a small percentage of people across the United States and world who have earned a doctoral degree.

You did it, San! Congrats!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Don’t Give Up on Your Mentees

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Mentoring

(Photo Credit: Every Day Is School)

Effective mentors never give up on their mentees.  Your mentees may make mistake after mistake, but they still need great mentors in their lives to continue to encourage them to do better.  We all have made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes.  Your punishment for your mentee, therefore, shouldn’t be to abandon him or her.  Too many phony mentors stop mentoring their mentees when the mentees aren’t performing well.  Many of these phony mentors simply desire to brag about what they’ve done for their mentees, so when the mentees are struggling to progress, this prevents them from engaging in vain self-promotion.  Your mentee should never have to wander around and search for a new mentor, and/or seek the guidance of another mentor simply because you don’t feel like being bothered with him or her any longer.

Authentic and effective mentors never make mentoring about them—they always make it about those they mentor.

To be an effective mentor, you have to have a true love for helping people.  The person you’re mentoring needs your help and love.  When you’re a selfish mentor, you lack the love necessary to be useful not only to your mentee but also to yourself.  True mentors don’t engage in self-aggrandizement; they aren’t vain people. You have some pathetic mentors who don’t want their mentees to have achievements greater than their own.

Mentoring is serious business.  If you’re not truly interested in helping people to progress in their various endeavors, then stop calling yourself a “mentor” and stop pretending like you’re so serious about mentoring. You need to recognize when you shouldn’t be mentoring anyone; you’re the one who needs to be mentored.

No one said mentoring is easy.  You’re going to experience some challenges and problems while mentoring. Those challenges and problems shouldn’t cause you to become a coward and run away from them and your mentees. Those problems and challenges should come to make you an even more effective mentor by you learning to tackle them boldly and directly.  Too many of our vulnerable young people are being lost because mentors are giving up on them.  Many mentors often give up on these young people simply because they sometimes didn’t do what the mentors told them to do.  Well, how many times did your mother and/or father tell you to do something and you didn’t do it? Exactly. Did your mother and/or father give up on you?  Why give up on your mentees then?

Your mentee shouldn’t feel more comfortable talking to another mentor and seeking the guidance of another mentor more than you.  When this happens, you’ve done some things that have made your mentee lack confidence in you.  One of the ways you can cause your mentee to lack confidence in you is to avoid him or her.  Constantly letting the mentee’s calls get answered by voicemail is a sure way to evince your disinterest. Stop avoiding his or her calls and be honest with him or her about how you’re feeling. Communicate your displeasures with him or her.  Don’t be afraid to demand him or her to do better than he or she is currently doing.  If you’re going to be an effective mentor, then you have to be willing to have frank discourses with your mentees.  Although the conversations may be unpleasant at first, they will learn how beneficial it is for you to be open and candid with them.

If your mentee seems to change his or her mind frequently about career goals, don’t become frustrated with him or her.  View this as an opportunity to assist them in becoming more focused and committed to specific career aspirations.  Working in collaboration with your mentee, devise a plan to aid him or her in accomplishing career aspirations.  He or she will have some specific things to work towards and focus on, diminishing those proclivities to shift frequently from one desired career to another.  If you give your mentee time to talk to you, you may discover that it’s really not changes in career goals he or she really has but simply a longing to have someone listen to him or her.  To be an effective mentor, you have to recognize when your mentee simply needs to talk to someone, and the successful mentor makes himself available to listen.

When another mentor has to devote a significant amount of more time to your mentee than you spend with him or her, you’re simply a pathetic mentor.  What you need to do is go back and sincerely assess whether you were committed to being a mentor in the first place.  Don’t let your failure to be there for your mentee result in him or her becoming a victim of depression, which can lead him or her to committing suicide.  Do you really want that on your conscious?

Your mentee needs you.  Don’t give up on him or her.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Overcoming Undercover Enemies

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Backstabber

(Photo Credit: Money Matters 101)

Your greatest enemies may not be the folks you think: they may be the people you least think.  It’s vital for you to keep your eyes and ears tuned to what’s going on around you. By doing this, you can become more aware of things that can be transpiring behind your back.  Unfortunately, too many people hang around individuals who they think support them, but behind-the-scenes they’re stabbing them in the back.  Yes, folks will laugh with you on the phone and when you hang out, but that does not mean they really like you. They may be using their ability to stay in close connection with you to plan and execute their evil hidden agendas.

Watch out for those people who are always talking about someone to you; chances are they’re talking about you with someone else.

We often don’t engage in enough careful thought about the people in our lives.  Those people you allow in your lives can be some of the very individuals causing you to experience the most vexing problems.  From my experience with people who have been my undercover enemies, I can tell you that I didn’t take serious the warning signs they might be or become my enemies.  While I placed trust in them and devoted significant time to them, I failed to recognize the impact their selfishness and low self-esteem would have on me.  When you love someone, a natural proclivity to accept all that comes with him or her surfaces.  I Peter 1:8 informs us that “love covers a multitude of sins.”  When you have true love for someone, it will, indeed, cover a multitude of  his or her sins.  What you have to do, however, is not allow your love for people to keep you in a state of blindness.

When people don’t really care for you, they will do some direct and subtle things to you.  It’s your job to look for those direct and subtle things.  The subtle things can be the most challenging to detect, however.  What I have found to be one of the most useful ways to determine if someone close to me or someone I spend a considerable amount of time with is really against me is to have honest conversations with him or her about our relationship.  I’ve learned to ask the following questions and more: What do you like most about me? Why do you enjoy spending time with me?  What do you dislike most about me?  What’s one quality you adore most about the person you admire most?  When you ask the aforementioned questions and more, observe any selfishness you see in the responses and any low self-esteem that could ultimately cause problems in your relationship.  Look for any uneasiness the person has speaking about the relationship you share.

If you talk to a person long enough, he or she will tell you everything.

Again, I’ve had some enemies I was unable to identify, but I’ve provided you with ways to recognize your own undercover enemies.  Although you might not want to hear it, you should watch out everyone; nothing’s wrong with being too careful.  Even your closest friends and family members may allow themselves to be used by the forces of evil.

What do you do now that you’ve identified your undercover enemies?  Don’t let them know you know who they really are.  Discontinue hanging out with them and talking to them on the phone.  Let the relationship die a natural death.  Most of your undercover enemies are arrogant enough to think you’ll never discover who they really are, and they will think they hold a certain power over you with this “secret knowledge.”  You will, however, be the one with the real knowledge and power.  You will have removed their disguises and they will not even know it, and you will have the power to turn their evil plans upside down—they’ll never see it coming!

What are some of the problems you struggle with?  Share those problems with me.  We may be able to arrive at some solutions together.  It’s a good thing to converse with people who are genuinely committed to helping you solve your problems.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jesus Didn’t Die to Condemn You: The Gospel of Grace

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Black Preacher

(Photo Credit: Rap Genius)

One of the primary reasons why many churches are doing an ineffective job of evangelizing is they fail to reverence the Gospel of Grace in their teaching (if any teaching is going on at all) and preaching.  When Jesus died on the Cross for all (past, present and future) sins, we were given a chance to live in the freedom of His Grace (Romans 6:14).  For those who repent of all their known and unknown sins (Romans 10:9-10), they’re given Salvation and eternal life in Heaven (John 3:16).  With the gift of Salvation comes freedom from condemnation for past, present and future sins (Romans 8:1-2).  When you accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Savior, you’ve been set free from condemnation.  You no longer should be sin conscious; that is, you no longer should live in fear about sin and/or feel guilty about any sins (Hebrews 10:2).  When one does sin, he or she can be forgiven by repenting of the sin (I John 2:1).  At the moment you receive Salvation, you’re no longer under the Law of Moses; you’re now going to be led by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:18).  The Holy Spirit will now teach you all things (John 14:26), and you will no longer need human beings to teach you everything you need to do, think and say (Galatians 3:25).

Grace is Jesus Christ.  Grace is unmerited (undeserved) favor.  Grace is the peace, power, and love of Christ working in the life of the Believer (a person who has received Salvation).

Unfortunately, too many preachers lack the proper teaching about Grace, and continue to “lord” (Mark 10:42; II Corinthians 1:24 [New International Version]) their authority over their congregants and those outside of the Church.  Because many churches are still teaching and preaching the Law of Moses, they’re unintentionally serving Moses instead of Jesus, and they end up offering the world Moses instead of Jesus. For those of us who are serious about the mission of Christ (Luke 19:10), we have to teach and preach the Gospel of Grace throughout the entire world.  We also have to encourage Christian teachers and preachers across the world to learn and spread the Gospel of Grace.

The Apostle Paul writes, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”  The “gospel of Christ” is the Gospel of Grace.  Paul is astonished that people are so quick to turn away from the Gospel of Grace and teach and preach other things.  He informed the Galatians and us that there’s no other gospel except the Gospel of Grace.  Paul divulged that there are false teachers present who “pervert the gospel of Christ.”  Therefore, when someone is teaching and/or preaching something other than the Gospel of Grace, he or she is teaching you something diametrically opposed to what Jesus taught and preached and diametrically opposed to what He commands His followers to teach and preach.

The only way you can receive Salvation is through your Faith in Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Church leaders, if you’re serious about the mission of Christ, which is to win lost souls, then you must teach and preach the Gospel of Grace. Your evangelism will continue to be ineffective without an emphasis on the Gospel of Grace.  Stop teaching and preaching the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses was brought to bring about your death (Romans 7:5), but Jesus has come to give you abundant life (John 10:10).    

Don’t let another person condemn you to Hell.  Repent from all of your known and unknown sins today and Jesus will give you Salvation immediately.  Again, stop teaching and preaching Moses and teach and preach Jesus.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison