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Democracy is still a dream for Detroit

Despite the crippling conditions that we may find ourselves in, there is still the positive possibility for things to change. Irrespective of a history that once hampered, or a present predicament that may seem to impede progress, or for that matter a future that looks inauspicious,  and unfavorable, sometimes something happens that proves all over again that things can change for the better. 

But in America, they only get better by force, complaint, protest, or otherwise, an organized public demonstration that expresses strong objection to public policy and actions adopted by people of authority. 

The 50th Anniversary Freedom Walk in the city of Detroit on June 22, commemorating the initial and now iconic “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a descent indication of that objection, in that we are still dreaming...50 years later. 

While tens of thousands walked down Woodward Avenue from Forest St. to Hart Plaza, side by side and hand in hand with blended voices, occasionally, there was still that familiar civil rights theme song significantly reverberating and resounding throughout the crowd, “We Shall Overcome.” 

In 1963, 50 years prior to our commemorative walk down Woodward, Governor George Wallace of Alabama exclaimed, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.’ 

And five decades later, there is still the blatant and damnable disposition of racism, anti-semitism, sexism, classism, homophobia, Islam-a-phobia, and systemic forces of segregation that’s no longer displayed with the velocity of fire hoses, the bites of police dogs, twirling police batons and posted placards. 

But through a carefully crafted covert collaboration of greed-stricken race-bated, anti-democratic governance, against which we still have to fight, and against which we still have to march and protest, even in the city that put the world on wheels. 

Most of us are proud and praising as to how things change. There was a time when people who looked like me were not allowed to participate in the patriotic process of American politics. 

Though barred from economic opportunity, equity and equality, we eventually saw our faces on TV and in the public square, but only characterized in servant roles; classified as second class citizens; could not vote; could not occupy positions of power or policy-making decisions; and never thought that one, among so many, would come from so far behind, and against all odds, and yet emerge as a two-time president of the most powerful nation on the planet, 50 years after George Wallace. 

This only happens when people of every race, class, and faith come together — African Americans, White, hispanic, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Jews — in organized public demonstration, and express strong objection to public policy and actions adopted by people of authority who still want us to keep dreaming. 

To be candid, songwriters, speech writers and editors of history continue to keep Dr. King’s speech as a poetically circumscribed communication. But the true essence of that speech, along with so many others of his, was, “A Call to Consciousness.” 

It was a speech  that first echoed in the historic Cobo Hall that challenged all of America to wake up and live and work together in peace. It was a protest that emphasized that no single human being, or group of human beings, is any better or higher than any one else. Humanity has no superiors or inferiors. We are all equal. Our destiny is interwoven. 

There is no better race. There are no best minds. And there are no entitlements to certain people because of the culture that produced them. However, history has presented quite a few others who erroneously embrace a totally different tenet. They have sipped on a rather archaic brew that has affected their thoughts and temperament, and has led them to believe that because of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their social class, their genetic construct, cultural setting, or their political party alignment, that they are privy to exploit at will. This is all indicative of a mindset that is yet stuck on mundane methods and matters; post Civil War-plantation-1940s, 1950s and 1960s-master-servant kind of thinking. 

Where was the emergency financial manager during the March? Is he not a recipient of the sacrifice of Dr. King and others who fought and died for his civil rights? Where was the lame duck session-back-door-dealing governor on this historic day? Could he not face a crowd whose democracy he has stolen? Where were the conspicuously missing City Council members who were perhaps too young and unattached to have marched 50 years ago, but have become  too unpopular to even express a gesture of gratitude to their forefathers by taking just a few steps with fellow Detroiters? 

Where were the vestured pastors whose parishioners are victims of the diabolical deeds of those  who occupy public office? Do they not know that by their apathy they indirectly participate in the conspiracy to repress and suppress our democracy? Are they yet that impervious to the takeover of Detroit? Do they yet have no political courage? Was Rev. C.L. Franklin and Dr. King, organizers of the 1963 march, not fellow preachers? 

Our contemporary civil rights pioneers were there — protégés and contemporaries of Dr. King, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dick Gregory, Tony Brown, Congressman John Conyers, and chief organizer of the Commemorative March, Rev. Wendell Anthony, just to mention a few, who took it personally enough to honor history and challenge the future, by marching...again. They had no problem walking the heat-laden landscape on a sun-baked day to say to Detroit and to America, we’re still dreaming. 

Fifty years ago, in that same “I Have A Dream” speech, Dr. King demonstrated the practical way to freedom and democracy and declared, “This political disposition and social cancer will only be defeated through determined pressure.” 

Talk is cheap. Unprofitable professions and proclamations of all to many who say one thing and do another, doesn’t help the cause.  People who only utter empty, hollow, fruitless, and empty articulated commitments are still in “the ‘dream.”

We must be determined to exhibit a determined pressure, that we may preserve the great changes in our history, and for that matter, our future,  and to keep following generations from repeating history and digressing into another era wherein people of minority-ranks run the risk of becoming further exploited, manipulated, and taken advantage of by the sordid, sinister, and satanic systems of society. 

We have to indeed exhibit a determined pressure! We’re all on common ground. We can live together. We can work differently. We can worship together, and we can walk together, because God has put us all here together. 

In the words of James Weldon Johnson, “Let us march on till victory is won.”


No Weapon Formed Against Me Shall Prospe

"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:17

Do you know that every time we fear we are doubting at least one of God's promises. Fear moves us into doubt and opens the door for Satan to work. If we don't come against fear in our lives, it will consume us. Verse 14 reassures us, terror shall not come near you.

The 3 great thieves of God's blessing are oppression, fear, and terror. The Lord says these will gather together around you, but they are not of Him. When these things come our way, we do not have to surrender to them. God didn't send them. He is not the God of oppression, fear, and terror.

Whatever your past or present, The Lord will rebuild you and establish you in righteousness. Believe this!


National Marriage Week Launches

Take your pick. Whether you are looking for ideas for a date night, Valentine's Day or a bigger solution to preserving your marriage this year, National Marriage Week USA, celebrated on February 7-14 annually, will help you find much more than a rose and a box of chocolate for your troubles.

Touting the financial, health and social benefits of marriage in a video at, executive director of the organization Sheila Weber noted that married adults lead longer lives, have greater personal happiness, and better health. "...Marriage is really the unsung anti-poverty program because single motherhood is the greatest source of impoverishment for both women and children," said Weber in the video.

Pointing to a recent Brookings Institution analysis, she also noted that, "if we had the marriage rate today that we had in 1970, we'd have 25 percent less poverty." She also highlighted that in 1970, nearly 80 percent of all adults in America were married. That number is now down to 52 percent.

This year's National Marriage Week USA campaign features nearly 1,000 events, classes and conferences nationwide geared at helping married couples keep their relationship strong. The offerings are listed in a searchable database on the campaign's website.

Offerings include a free eight-week series of marriage help sessions facilitated by Jean Claude Lukunku of the Godspeak Church of the Revelations in the Bronx, NY.

"These sessions are really for couples whose marriages are cold and are looking to bring back the fire," explained Lukunku in an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday. "For those who are ready to divorce, we usually send them to professional marriage counselors," he added.


Planting New Life in Detroit's Vacated Landscape

Growing up in the Netherlands, Riet Schumack dreamed of becoming a farmer. But when she married and moved to innercity Detroit, she wondered if her dream was dead. "I hate big cities," Schumack says, "so when the Lord called us [here]—there was no way around it—we spent many years questioning God."

Detroit isn't exactly an agricultural paradise. Drive across the city, built for 2 million residents, and signs of decline are everywhere. Some 200,000 lots are vacant or foreclosed, and even city-owned land is overgrown and strewn with litter and refuse.

But all the empty and unused land makes Detroit an urban gardener's heaven. In the past decade alone, the number of gardens has grown from under 50 to over 1,400, as more residents—including Schumack—see opportunity in the citywide land crisis. Schumack says Detroiters involved in the urban farming movement—which has blossomed in other metro areas as well—are typically either New Agers or Christians. But the Christians pursue farming for different reasons, and through a variety of methods.

There is no shortage of blight where Schumack lives, a four-square-mile neighborhood ironically named Brightmoor. She points out which homes are abandoned, vacant, and sliding into decay. But when she reaches one of her youth gardens, she beams. In the midst of poverty, Schumack is growing vegetables to teach her neighbors about the beauty of creation and labor.

"We are created to be co-creators and stewards," she says. "If you don't give [people] something to steward, they're missing out on why they were created."

After Schumack moved to Brightmoor in 2006, she wondered how she could minister to the neighborhood. She took an inventory of her passions—"children" and "gardening" topped the list—and began building rapport with Brightmoor residents.

"If you want to work somewhere, you should move there," she says. "Jesus didn't stay in heaven, point his finger down, and say, 'Be healed.' He came to Earth and became one of us—and out of that, he ministered."

But community development is hard when 70 percent of the houses are empty. When they moved, former residents took with them social capital and resources, leaving those who remained with little incentive to care for their space. So in 2009, Schumack helped establish Neighbors Building Brightmoor, an organization that runs "community-initiated, -driven, and -executed" cleanup projects within a 21-block radius. She said the organization now has 50 active households—and at least as many community gardens.

In the vacant lots on either side of her house, Schumack works primarily with neighborhood youth as young as 9 years old, whom she calls "garden kids." On their first day with Schumack, garden kids learn to plant radishes, one seed every inch. Their first attempts are always "disastrous," she says, but then they start to catch on—and they keep coming.

Spring is the kids' favorite season: They sell their produce at local farmers' markets, including Eastern Market, Detroit's six-block public market, which attracts tens of thousands of people each Saturday. The first time Schumack's garden kids went to Eastern Market, they sold out within an hour. They are especially pleased by this as they get to keep their profits.

That's the same strategy Jerry Hebron, executive director of Northend Christian Community Development, uses on the other side of the city, but with a twist: To drive commercial activity in her neighborhood, Hebron started not only a garden but her own farmers' market as well.

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Is Feminism Ruining Courtship?

The New York Times posted an article confirming my assessment that Generation Y, also known as "Millennials" are a bunch of confused, socially inept tech junkies who lack basic communication skills and pretty much suck at dating. Unfortunately "the hook up culture" has destroyed courting leaving a trail of emotionally broken women fighting for scraps and lazy men who can get sex and companionship with minimal effort and no real commitment. That is why relationship pimps like Steve Harvey are able to write a New York Times Bestseller giving women horrible advice about how to get a man. Dummies everywhere ate that book up because they are so desperate to find companionship and willing to sell their souls to Lucifer just to have a warm male body to claim as their own. I'm blaming it all on feminism. Yeah I said it. That's my default for 2013.

Feminism has left a relationship vacuüm resulting in confused women who do not know how to interact with men thus making them more vulnerable to exploitation by relationship predators. This ideology has attacked femininity in women and promoted misandry. Instead of equality, this movement created a gender war between men and women. In the romance department, heterosexual women are at a huge disadvantage because feminism has brainwashed them into thinking that men are bad, emasculation is good, and if you choose to have sex with men, getting ran through by "randoms" is okay because you are strong independent woman fighting for equality and embracing your sexuality. NEWSFLASH, being a slut does not make you enlightened or empowered. A woman diminishes her power when she carelessly gives herself away to unworthy men.

In today's society anyone advising women not to screw random guys is engaging in slut shaming. Let's get scientific for a moment. Having sex with random people increases one's chances of catching diseases; unwanted pregnancies which could lead to abortions, and psychological damage. Women who make these poor life choices are often left mentally and emotionally damaged and unable to have healthy romantic relationships with the opposite sex.


Christians Have Faith Detroit Will Rise Again

This is the story of Christians like Johanon—Christians whose faithful presence in a ravaged city is sowing seeds of hope in the shell of a once-towering empire.

A City on the Move

To grasp just how radical it is to stay in Detroit, one first must understand how un-radical it is to leave.
Detroit (from le detroit du Lac Erie, "the strait of Lake Erie") was settled by the French nearly a century before America's founding. After the Erie Canal opened in 1825, Detroit became a major producer and exporter of goods such as stoves, railcars, and steam ships, and grew into a global industrial center just decades after the Civil War. When the automobile and, with it, Ford's assembly line debuted in 1898, both drew incredible wealth to the city as well as new residents who could secure a middle-class existence doing factory work. That included waves of black families from the South, looking to escape Jim Crow-era injustices.

"Detroit was one of the few U.S. cities where African Americans could become wealthy as blue-collar workers," says Harvey Carey, senior pastor of Citadel of Faith and a Detroit resident for nine years. "When the auto industry began to boom, people flooded from the South and were able to build an unbelievable lifestyle here."

The lure of prosperity drew more than half a million new residents in the 1920s alone, making the Motor City the fourth-largest U.S. city in population, behind Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. By 1929, Detroit had burgeoned to 1.6 million people, many of whom were immigrants or first-generation residents. In 1950, its population peaked at 1.8 million.

Not surprisingly, Detroit was also one of the first cities to take up federal plans for an interstate highway. New roadways allowed home and business developers to build outside the city limits, which "sow[ed] the seeds of the suburbanization and sprawl that eventually would empty the city core," notes journalist Scott Martelle in Detroit: A Biography. As the city's population grew and cars became commonplace, more residents and businesses relocated to surrounding suburbs.

But underlying prejudices played a major role in their departure. Deed restrictions in many Detroit suburbs barred selling or reselling property to blacks. Racial and ethnic tensions simmered in factories and mixed neighborhoods, bubbling up into a riot in 1943 that killed 34 over three days. Paradise Valley, Detroit's oldest, most dynamic black neighborhood, was demolished in the early 1960s to expand the Chrysler Freeway. By this time, auto-industry jobs had begun moving overseas. Then a police raid on a party the morning of Sunday, July 23, 1967, ignited a torrent of brutality and vandalism that lasted five days and took 43 lives. The "riot"—or "uprising"—was the nail that sealed many Detroiters' long-ago decision to leave for supposedly safer neighborhoods, better schools, and shorter commutes.

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Encouraging Things to Say to Your Child

Every day my kids have opportunities to feel proud and to want me to encourage them even further.

But rather than say, "Good job, that makes me so happy," I try to find a way to focus it on their efforts. In short, encouraging statements keep the task/ action/ problem/ accomplishment about the child, not about the parent.

1. I love you.
2. I know you don't like doing this, and I thank you for doing it anyway. It really helps.
3. I'm listening.
4. I appreciate your cooperation.
5. Thanks for helping.
6. I have faith that we can find a respectful solution.
7. You are capable.
8. I love you.

Our children need to know that you love them. It's not always easy to make yourself available to communicate with your children. But you must. Children do hear you. Start with these simple sentences today.

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BMI Honors Edwin Hawkins, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, and Kurt Carr

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the global leader in music rights management, brought legends and contemporary stars together to celebrate the careers of gospel giants Edwin Hawkins, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, and Kurt Carr at its 14th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon today in Nashville.

In addition, the event, held at Rocketown, also recognized BMI's Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year: Kirk Franklin's "I Smile." The song, pulled from the gold-certified album Hello Fear, topped gospel charts and achieved historic crossover success while amassing more than 500,000 performances. To help celebrate this astounding achievement, The Walls Group surprised the audience with a memorable performance of the song Franklin co-penned.


New Listings

1. Fellowship Chapel U.C.C.
    Created: 31 Jul 2012
    Telephone: (313)347-2820
    First Name: Wendell
    Last Name: Anthony
2. Full Truth Fellowship Church
    Created: 31 Jul 2012
    Telephone: (313)896-0233
    First Name: Darlene
    Last Name: C.A. Franklin
3. God's Inspirational Kingdom
    Created: 31 Jul 2012
    Telephone: (313)898-2500
    First Name: Lessie
    Last Name: R. Brown
4. Grace Out-Reach Ministry
    Created: 31 Jul 2012
    Telephone: (313)885-1927
    First Name: J.
    Last Name: Ward Jr.
5. Greater Heritage of Christ Church
    Created: 31 Jul 2012
    First Name: Tracy
    Last Name: Lamont Bell
Show more...

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