Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Christian Rapper of the week: Trip Lee

The new Trip Lee album just dropped yesterday.  I scraped my Itunes pennies together and purchased it last night.  Very excited to get some new music from him.  Enjoy.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

My Dad, James Thompson Sr.

I didn't really know my father that well.  My father got involved with alcohol before I was born and it pretty much took him from me and my family before I had the chance to get to know him.  I've said it before on this blog that my brother taught me almost everything I know about being a man, husband, and father(read Father Figure).  I  say that my brother taught me almost everything about being a man, husband, and father because I am still learning what it takes to be all of those things.  Two things that I have recently learned from older fathers when I have asked for advice:

1.  Don't give your kids everything that they ask for.  Instead, make them earn some of the things that they want.  That way they don't feel entitlement to receive things without working for them.

2.  You can work 5 jobs to provide all the material things in the world for your children.  But they want your time and attention more than anything else.

But I am also happy to say that I have learned some things from my father as well.  My father died about six years ago from terminal cancer.  But the man that died in Birmingham, Alabama was completely different from the man that I met for the first time at the age of three years old.  From what I have been told, my father met his father again for the first time later in his own life.  He also met a brother and at least one sister that he did not know were even living.  My father went from being an angry man without a link to his past to a man that was described by his pastor as a "peacemaker".  My mother (whom I adore for her sacrifices) went to my father's funeral with me, my brother, and my sister.  She, like myself, had not seen my father in over 10 years (they were divorced) and she was amazed by the descriptions of the person laying in the casket.  At one point in the service she leaned over  and whispered that she did not know the man that everybody was talking about.  He had changed that much over the years.

one of my dad's sweaters that
I obtained after his funeral

But unlike some people, my father changed for the better.  I am told that he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior late in his adult life and became active in his church.  He became a better man and took responsibility for his actions.  He tried to improve his life and he allowed other people to help him improve.  Even as he got closer to death, he continued to live each day as fully as he could.  It was because of him that I am here.  And it is his testimony that I can use to improve myself.  My father was not a perfect man.  He was not always a good man.  But he was a man that learned from his past.  And he used it to improve his future.  And for that, I will always be greatful.  Thanks Dad.

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Father's Day Shout Out

This is just a thank you to all the men that have made an influence in my life.  Some of them taught me what to do.  Some of them taught me what not to do.  But all of them have been a blessing in my life in one way or another.  Here they are in no particular order:

James Thompson Sr., James Thompson Jr., Larry Coppage, Floyd Stinson, Henry Barber, Wilbert Ellis, Mr. McDougal, Clarence Hicks Sr., Harold Clay Sr. , Anthony(Top) Dowell, O.D. Thurman, Mr. Pervis Carter, Otis Mitchell, Kenneth Allen, Larry Anderson Sr.,  Roy Mayfield, Felix Goins Sr. and Jr., Joseph Goins, Robert Lee Goins, Alvin Bradley, Jerry Bawldwin, Leon Martin, A.J. Green, Charles T. Lewis, Joe Henderson, Kevin Harris, Clarence Thompson, Charles Martin, Benjamin Martin, James Keown, James Miller, Clyde McCray, Reginald Wade, Clyde Parker, Willie Culpepper Sr., Al Thurmon Sr., and others.

Time has taken away some of the names from my memory, but I will continue to add names as I remember.  Take time out to think about the men that helped to shape you.  You will be blessed by the experience. 

Peace and Love,

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

He Who Finds a Wife...

Proverbs 18:22 (New International Version)

22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

I met a remarkable woman the other day at work. She was in her late 60's or so and she was telling me about her husband. He was terminally ill and had to be taken care of day and night. She and her sons took turns watching over him, bathing him, feeding him, and changing his clothing. He had not been able to do anything for himself for the past year because he had a stroke. So his family was taking care of him. He also had diabetes, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer's disease. When I commented on how much of a blessing she was to him, she simple stated that he had taken care of her and the children for over 40 years and it was her pleasure to take care of him now. She told me that he had always been an excellent husband and father and that he had done everything that he was supposed to do as the head of the house. She even told me that other people had advised her to put him in a nursing home but she didn't mind doing everything for him. She said the key to her not minding taking care of him now is because he had been such a good husband. "You have to be a good husband first," she said as she shook her finger at me. She told me that she would have put him in the nursing home immediately if he had not been a good husband. She was a good wife.

My conversation with her made me think about another couple in my church back in Louisiana.  I never knew them personally, but I never forgot them either.  You see, the husband was confined to a wheelchair and the wife would bring him to church every week.  They were always dressed immaculately too.  He would be wearing a suit, and she would have on a nice dress with heels and stockings.  She would drive him and their two children in the specialized van with the ramp for his wheelchair.  She would park the vehicle, lower him down, and wheel him into the building.  Then she would sit in a folding chair next to him during church.  I imagine that she did a lion's share of the work around the house which obviously included taking care of him and the kids.  But they always looked pleasant whenever I saw them.  She was a good wife.

These two ladies remind me of my wife and the way that she takes care of me.  I told you about the time that I was in the hospital (Week in the Hospital IWeek in the Hospital II).  Well, my wife would come up to visit me, take care of our son, and keep me updated on what was going on at the house.  Even though I was only in the hospital for six days, it seemed like years.  But after that moment of sickness, I knew without a shadow of doubt that my wife had my back no matter what.  It made me trust her more.  And it made me want to do even more for her and my son on a daily basis.  She is a good wife.

So what's the point?  Men should make sure that they pick the right women when they look to get married.  Then they should make sure that they do their jobs correctly as husbands.  Take care of your wives at all times and they will take care of you at all times.  The return on investment is more than you could ever imagine.

Peace and Love,

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