Make Your Work Pay

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Pay Me

(Photo Credit: Navitor)

Although it may sound harsh and selfish, don’t do anything that will not yield you a beneficial return. View your work and activities through the lens of budgeting and investing. Labor and activities not producing a useful return—eliminate them. Does a fruitful return necessarily mean money? No. It can mean anything deemed valuable to you. When you constantly feel overextended, take an opportunity to see why. Are you trying to do more than you’re able to do? Are you attempting to solve all of the problems of those around you? Are you more preoccupied with the affairs of others than your own? If your answer is “yes” to those aforementioned questions, then your life is rife with imbalances.

Have enough courage to turn down work that does not pay. Be willing to disengage or not participate in activities that will not improve you in some way. When you know your worth, then you will place a demand and/or price on requests people make. If someone wants you to do something for him or her, then he or she should expect to give something in exchange for the request. He or she cannot go into the supermarket and pick up a bag of grapes without supplying the cashier money in exchange for the item.

Face it—we live in an exchange society: you want something; you give something.

For those who have a problem with this exchange society, they’re really the ones who are selfish. Why would you want someone to do something for you and you not at least offer to do something in return for him or her?

My dad taught me to work smart—not hard. Yes, I know his teaching is counter to the American ethos of “hard work pays.” However, does hard work always pay? How about most of the time? If you desire for your work to be meaningful and your activities to be meaningful, then you better attach expected returns to that work and those activities. Don’t become so altruistic to the point you lose yourself, lose your self-worth.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Between Pain & Grace: A Biblical Theology of Suffering: A Brief Review

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Between Pain and Grace

(Photo Credit: Design Corps)

In Pain & Grace: A Biblical Theology of Suffering, Gerald W. Peterman and Andrew J. Schmutzer offer a thorough and astute assessment of Scripture’s treatment of pain and grace.  Although many readers, especially those who are not advanced bible students or theologians, will find Peterman and Schmutzer’s assertion that God experiences suffering unsettling, their argument on this topic is worthwhile to consider. For those of us who understand the realities of anger, the scholars’ view of anger as a type of suffering may be satisfying.  They discuss mental health and sexual abuse in the context of suffering. What one will discover from this text is his or her faith in what grace has made available will lead him or her to triumph over pain and suffering.

Unlike most books concentrating on pain and suffering that relate them in such generic ways, this work concatenates biblical truths and evidence with clinical research about pain and suffering. I found this book to demonstrate how powerful the grace of Christ is in helping believers to overcome the challenges and problems they experience. As Peterman and Schmutzer explain, pain and suffering are unavoidable in this life. How we elect to confront them will determine our outcomes, however. After reading this book, many readers are likely to increase their faith and trust in Christ’s ability to enable them to rise above pain and suffering.

I highly recommend this book. In a nation and world where elevating violence and hate can seem unbearable, Peterman and Schmutzer remind us that the Finished Work of the Cross has already conquered the pain and suffering we face. It is our job to partake of the grace Jesus has extended to defeat pain and suffering.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Pop-Up Sermon: God’s Pulpit Isn’t a Bully Pulpit

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Black Preacher

(Photo Credit: Christianity Expert)

Before you step into the pulpit, surrender your personal agenda(s), for the pulpit isn’t a space to take spineless, milquetoast shots at folks. Ephesians 4:15 calls us, ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to “speak the truth in love”—keywords: “truth” and “love.” Ministries become ineffective when preachers and pastors use their positions as weapons of carnal warfare, ultimately leading to their own undoing (II Corinthians 10:4). Pastors are called to “feed” and not beat, not condemn (Jeremiah 3:15). Unfortunately, in numerous churches across the nation, pastors beat more than they feed, essentially functioning as tools for Satan. If you’re a pastor or preacher who has developed acrimonious relationships with individuals, then work on ameliorating those relationships in private—not from God’s hallowed pulpit.

When bitterness and discord accompany you to the pulpit, they win; the anointing fails to flow. You inevitably begin to see that God cannot employ you in the ways He once was able; you inevitably begin to see that your spiritual gifts—like the gift of healing—do not work for you any longer; you inevitably begin to see that your personal and ministry’s finances dwindle significantly—as does church attendance. Why? Because you’ve “given place” to the Devil and not concentrated solely on Jesus (Ephesians 4:27). Issues, problems and people have taken Jesus’ spot. Why? Because you’ve become self-occupied instead of Christ-occupied.

Again, settle your issues and problems out of the pulpit—in private. For I Thessalonians 4:11 says, “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before” (New Living Translation).

True Believers, we pray for a day when all pulpits are genuinely reverenced by those who frequent them.

#PopUpSermon

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison               

“Tasteless” by Juice Soul Featuring L.T. Terror: The Hottest Track of Summer 2016

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Tasteless Juice Soul

(Photo Credit: Juice Soul)

Rising star and independent singer and songwriter Juice Soul has released the summer’s hottest track, “Tasteless,” featuring rap artist L.T. Terror and produced by Chevalier. Corporate media often defines which song is the hottest of a particular season, with little input from consumers themselves. As an increasing number of people learn about “Tasteless,” they’re convinced it’s the best new song available this summer.

With this track, Juice Soul engenders a new movement, a movement centered on loving one another. In the extant political climate—where vile, xenophobic, racist and sexist discourse is exponentially increasing and sadly becoming normative—the native of Augusta, Georgia, Juice Soul, promulgates a national and global clarion call to “love somebody.” The song, therefore, offers a brilliant, masterful and powerful counternarrative to the dominant national narrative of discord advanced by political interlocutors on the Left and Right.

“Tasteless” has potential to burgeon an effective and robust national citizens’ counterinsurgency against elected officials and candidates with intentions to foment hate and violence. The song possesses immense revolutionary potential. If we collectively heed the core message of real and unwavering love it champions, then we will build relationships—instead of walls.

Receiving his undergraduate training in Literary Studies (English) at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, Juice Soul understands how to deploy irony adroitly, thus his choice to create an ironic title. The track’s title critiques the current state of love across the globe; it’s instructive, informing us through negation how to treat one another.

When ones listens to “Tasteless,” he or she might experience nostalgia for R&B of the 1970s – 1990s—a period of time in which authentic and quality vocals were cornerstones of the genre and not auto-tune and other technologically manufactured effects. Although Juice Soul’s mellifluous sound has affinities with the classic singing of the aforementioned period, he’s still current, sporting vocals that bear influences of Jamie Foxx, Sam Cooke, and Donny Hathaway. Many people love to say, “Bring back real music.” Well, lament no more. Juice Soul is the answer.

On this track, Juice Soul is joined by a talented rapper, L.T. Terror, who will inevitably blaze the national scene and become a household name. L.T. Terror spits rhymes that perfectly complement Juice Soul’s vocals, yielding purposeful and exemplary art. Neither artist overshadows or upstages the other. Although both are remarkable talents, one should never overlook the amazingly gifted Chevalier, the producer behind this artistic gem, “Tasteless.”

Fellows, you will thank Juice Soul later for supplying you with a new track to add to your mood-setting repertoire. “Tasteless” will tastefully ready the atmosphere for love, for romance, for lovemaking. Numerous current R&B songs denigrate and objectify women. Displeased with this reality, Juice Soul desired to present men with a resource to help communicate how much they cherish the special ladies in their lives. The artist responded to the popular demand from women to craft music that resists using profanity toward them and that resists commodifying and reifying them. Ladies, this isn’t a song that views you as a female dog—it embraces your humanity, your equality, your longing for true love, your external and internal beauty.

Yes, most men are more balanced and complex than seeing women as being only worth what they can extend sexually. Guys, “Tasteless” captures this aforementioned sentiment. Ladies will find this song physically, emotionally, and mentally stimulating. This track is a refreshing departure from “Let Me Hit It.” You think?  As always, Juice Soul presents mature, thoughtful, sensual, sexy, smart, and compelling art.

Juice Soul is destined to become the next popular national recording artist. Listen to “Tasteless” on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Tidal, and all other digital platforms. Let your local record stations know you want to hear his new single played. Purchase it on iTunes.

Do you long to love somebody? Well, join the “Love Somebody Movement” and support its progenitor, Juice Soul.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison

American Woman’s Bible, NKJV: A Short Review

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American Woman's Bible

Photo Credit: BookLook Bloggers

The American Woman’s Bible: Women, Godly Virtues, and the Making of America (New King James Version) contains the Word of God translated in language much more accessible than the King James Version, and this particular edition of the bible includes inspiring American women’s history throughout to complement particular books and chapters of the bible. It also contains a helpful concordance.

 
This edition of the bible offers a pleasant reading experience: colored-print, illustrations, various biographies of key women in American history, and more. Most readers will learn some critical phenomena about American history—all while immersing themselves in God’s Word. Durability will never become an issue with this book; it’s well-crafted. With an excellent typeface and print in general, this bible is likely to become the primary bible one reads. Guys shouldn’t think this is a bible simply for women—it’s a bible for everyone.

 
Although this is an excellent bible, it would have been even better if it supplied the reader with study helps. A bible does not have to be a study bible to provide the reader with study helps. I still highly recommend purchasing and reading this bible.

 
In exchange for my honest review, BookLook Bloggers furnished me with a copy of this bible.

 
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Asante Lloyd: A Shining Star for The Why You? Initiative

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Asante Lloyd

(Photo Credit: Asante Lloyd)

One of the most important services offered by The Why You? Initiative, a national non-profit organization committed to advancing and empowering young students and young professionals, is mentoring. In Critique of Pure Reason, renowned German philosopher Immanuel Kant posits that “Examples are the go-cart of judgment.” From Kant’s perspective, therefore, if a person desires quality judgment, then he or she needs quality examples. The Why You? Initiative, affectionately known as “[YU?],” is increasingly becoming a national leader in supplying America with the effective examples this perilous and disconcerting epoch necessitates. Under the leadership of Dr. Renaldo C. Blocker and Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels, [YU?] Co-Founders, and their executive leadership team, Marie Beasley, Donald Dantzler, and John Hubbard, the next generation of national and international leaders in sundry fields and spaces are emerging. Asante Lloyd, a native of Augusta, Georgia, is one such future leader the organization is developing.

Mr. Lloyd, a junior Civil Engineering major at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, plans to pursue a master’s and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering after graduating with his undergraduate degree. Over the past three years, Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels has served as Asante’s main mentor. Daniels has known him since he was a toddler. Through an extended discourse with Daniels, Lloyd became inspired to earn a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. His original plan was to begin his career in the field after earning his undergraduate degree. [YU?] motivates young students and young professionals across the nation to reach their highest potential. Dr. Daniels is keenly aware of Asante’s intellectual acumen and does not want him to limit himself to earning just an undergraduate degree. Lloyd appreciates this academic advisement, and he has resolved to expand his career possibilities by embarking on the challenging, yet rewarding journey to a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering.

As a high school student-athlete, Mr. Lloyd excelled academically and athletically, receiving numerous awards for football and track and superior academic achievement. He was even named Scholar-Athlete of the Year during his final year in high school. Asante evinced the reality that black male student-athletes can experience greatness in the classroom and fields and courts of athletic competition. He graduated with honors from a competitive magnate high school in Augusta, Georgia, obtaining a nationally and internationally reputable international baccalaureate (IB) diploma. Although he loves Mathematics and Science, and has always performed really well in those subjects, Asante has made great grades in all subjects. As Lloyd enters his junior year, his academic success persists—he’s still an honor student.

While his academic and athletic prowess and success are noteworthy, they do not even compare to his character. Asante is the type of child any parent desires to have. His parents, Felicia Mack and Roderick Lloyd, have done an excellent job rearing him, and they are quite proud of the accomplished young man he has become. One never hears a credible negative word spoken about him.

[YU?] prides itself on helping young students and young professionals, especially those who emerge from underrepresented backgrounds, to secure meaningful internships, including nationally competitive ones. This is why the organization’s leadership was enthused about Mr. Lloyd being selected last summer as a Scholar-Intern by the United States Department of Energy (DOE).  Impressed by his work last summer, Asante’s supervisors at the DOE invited him to return this summer to work for the agency at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, and he recently completed this summer’s internship experience at the DOE.

As a DOE Scholar-Intern, Mr. Lloyd gained valuable research experience in the field, and he was able to make significant contributions to the DOE, contributions that will benefit all Americans. He was able to gain knowledge and critical insights from national and international experts in his field, and these two years of experience have buttressed his understanding of how to engage in sophisticated research, apply data-driven approaches to solving complex problems, and work collaboratively with novice and experienced engineers.

[YU?] salutes Asante Lloyd for his accomplishments and for operating in a spirit of excellence.

If you would like to learn more about the work The Why You? Initiative does and would like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit http://www.whyyou.org. You may also donate to the organization by texting “YU” to 41444.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

Co-Founder

The Why You? Initiative

Consequences of Being The Other Woman

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Adultery

Photo Credit: Singapore Divorce Lawyers)

Why allow yourself to experience the misery of being “the other woman”? When you become the other woman, you’re exacerbating the low self-esteem problems already present. You should value your body as more than a commodity only useful for a man’s exploitation. If you sleep with a married man, you will suffer numerous consequences. Do wonder why you’ve become such a messy woman? It’s the life you’re living with another woman’s husband. Do you wonder why your depression continues to grow more severe? Yep, you guessed it; it’s the sinful relationship you’re engaged in with a married man.

At some point, you should become exhausted with struggling to find a private room or office or house to have sex in. Is it really worth it? It’s quick, weak and little anyway, right? To cap it all off, you only get it when his wife is away. See, that’s setting yourself up for failure, for pain. You’re an option and not a constant.

Men who commit adultery typically have several other women. When you, therefore, sleep with him, you’re just one of several to get his little filthy genitals. He’s nasty and you’re nasty; he’s a whore and you’re a whore.

In short, stop being a whore and get your own man. Leave that woman’s husband alone.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison