Martin Luther King Day
Sirach, Chapter 21, Verse 6
Whoever hates correction walks the sinner’s path, but whoever fears the Lord repents in his heart.
What is your “Egypt”? What is your temptation, your land of (empty) promise? What has placed you under bondage? For some it could be that “dream” job across the country. For others it could be that big house, or luxury car. Chances are, if you find yourself saying something like, “Things would better if I could only…”, then you have an “Egypt” of your own. In most cases your “Egypt” is really just another heap of steaming trouble, bundled in empty hope and wrapped with false promise. God knows that humility, and a sense of self-worth centered in God’s grace and not in “things” and “stuff” is what leads to a heart that is not been made cynical by the disappointments of materialism. A humble and compassionate heart is softer, fertile ground made ready and willing to love. We must find contentment in the immutable, in the unwavering God. Only then will the distractions, the idols, and the daily lies we tell ourselves to feel okay… only then will they start to fall away and we can be fully Present. Being Present means to exist fully in the now, in this moment. Not regretting the past, not worrying about the future, but fully mindful and present in the moment at hand. Then you would be able to give this text your full attention, and not simply a cursory scan. You would find yourself really listening to someone speaking, and not simply waiting for a chance to talk. And most importantly, your find yourself fully enjoying the presence of someone close to you, fully mindful that in an instant they could be gone. Our personal “Egypt” is a always a source of bondage and domination. We find ourselves broken through our pursuit of it, and God forbid, we attain it! Then we realize that its promise and hope were dust and dreams and there is nothing of substance to sustain us. Where do we turn to now? We’ve already spent ourselves trying to attain our own personal “Egypt”? We turn back to God. He is always ready and willing to perform the next personal Exodus out of another personal Egypt. And you will need God’s help, for the wisdom of the world and it’s Pharaohs will rise up to stop you the very moment you start to trust God’s immutable providence for your life: Wake up. Spread the blood of lamb on the lintels of your soul. Ask God for salvation from bondage to your own personal Egypt, and God will act in your life.
Martin Luther King
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. (Mt. 26:52)
Character is Destiny
According to John McCain a person or nations character determines its destiny. McCain points out in his book Character is Destiny the person who most exemplifies the characteristic of fairness is that of Martin Luther King, Jr.
John says of King:
From a jail cell he wrote a letter that is one of the most celebrated documents in American history, and summoned his country to the cause of justice. “My Dear Fellow Clergymen,” it began. Recognizing that his correspondents were “men of genuine good will and your criticisms sincerely set forth,” he promised to respond in patient and reasonable terms. They were reasonable terms, and undeniably fair, but patient they were not.
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. . . . Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.
America still struggles internally and externally to arrive at the place Dr. King had summoned us to, that exalted place that had been the highest ambition of our Founding Fathers and the highest value we recommend to the rest of the world; the place where all people are recognized as equal, and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. African Americans recognize the debt they owe Dr. King’s courage, wisdom, and unshakable sense of fairness. But Americans of European descent owe him a greater one. At the cost of his life, he helped save us from a terrible disgrace, the betrayal of our country, and the principles that have ennobled our history. And that is a debt we must happily bear forever.
Martin Luther King Facts & Quotes
· Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was 35 years old, which made him the youngest Peace Prize winner at that time.
· I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., August 28, 1963.
· Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?' - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
· Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
· Hate is too great a burden to bear. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Top Events and Things to Do
· Visit thekingcenter.org to find out about local events and ways you can help promote unity, justice, and fight racism.
· Become a mentor to an underprivileged person in your community through Big Brothers, or another similar organization.
· Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. For more info see the Official memorial website.
· Donate to the United Negro College Fund or other charities that promote college degree attainment by minorities.
· Watch a movie about MLK. Some popular films include: Our Friend Martin (1999), Selma(2014) and The Witness (2008)
49 Godly Character Traits
During this New Year let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:
Wisdom vs. Natural Inclinations
Seeing and responding to life’s situations from God’s frame of reference (Proverbs 9:10)
216 God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world. God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself.
1865 Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root.
1954 Man participates in the wisdom and goodness of the Creator who gives him mastery over his acts and the ability to govern himself with a view to the true and the good. The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie:
The natural law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man, because it is human reason ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin . . . But this command of human reason would not have the force of law if it were not the voice and interpreter of a higher reason to which our spirit and our freedom must be submitted.
· Please pray for me and this ministry
 McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.