Antifa/Alt Right…You are both the problem

E pluribus unum- our country’s moto. Latin for “Out of many, One”. The idea that in America we are coming together as one people. We have not always been perfect at this but I believe we need to align ourselves with people and organizations that bring unity rather than divisiveness.

I am white, but that alone does not mean I came from privilege. I was raised by a single mom who worked two jobs just to keep us from losing our home always teetering on the edge of financial disaster. I was pushed through school left completely illiterate (unable to read) until I was in middle school. I had teachers saying I would never graduate and tell me I wasn’t worth their time. Other adults insult me to my face. And classmates literally beat up on me for being “retarded”.

I resent when people think I grew up privileged. My mom worked hard, I worked hard and I overcame the disadvantage I started with.  I am first generation college graduate. I am one of the only men in my family line to not struggle with addition which leads to generational poverty.

Let’s stop overgeneralizing the issues we face. Groups like Antifa and the alt-right (Neo-Nazi/KKK) are tearing apart the foundation America was built on. Both groups are doing nothing more polarizing our country.

We need the church to reach in poverty stricken areas and share with the people there that hope can be found in Jesus. But the church can’t stop at that. We need men to rise up and be an example to the next generation of what it looks like to climb out of poverty, not by trampling on others, but by hard work, integrity, and long term wise choice.

We also need to stop giving one sided views of history that show every founding father as evil slave owners. As I said earlier we didn’t get it perfect but we have moved in the right direction and need to continue to. I love the story of George Washington getting ready to cross the Delaware knowing the battle of Trenton was the next day one of the generals (and Signer of the Declaration), William Wipple, turns to his slave and says “Prince, I hope you’re going to behave like a man of courage and fight bravely for your country.”

And Prince replied, “Sir, I have no inducement to fight. But if I had my liberty I would endeavor to defend it to the last drop of my blood.” William is recorded as being surprised by this reply, recognized that if they are fighting for liberty he should give it to Prince, and freed him on the spot.

Similarly Founding Father Benjamin Rush had a dream one night where he recognized slavery as wrong and freed his slave the next morning.

Let’s return to the standard of order MLK had where anyone demonstrating with him had to sign a commitment card that read:

I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:

  1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
  2. Remember always that the non—violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory.
  3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
  4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
  5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
  6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
  7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
  8. Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
  9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

10.Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.




Info for parents about our next youth series “Forward Motion”

Forward Motion

Tomorrow night we are starting a new series called “Forward Motion” at TCYM. Here are some thoughts to consider as your students work their way though this series with us.

1. Be a Student of What They are Learning

We’ve all made resolutions and set goals, but too often we fall short of what we expected to accomplish. Unfortunately it’s often the same when we try to become the Christian we really believe God has called us to be. We fall short of the goal and become increasingly discouraged. In this series, your student will learn that following Christ is more about the small steps we take every day, not about the huge leaps of faith that we think we need to make. They will set a goal, determine the first step and then make it. The series will end with a celebration!


2. Be a Student of Your Student

Many of you crave forward motion in your family. You know what you want your children to be. You want them to be kind, respectful, responsible, intelligent, creative individuals. You want them to be able to succeed when they grow up and leave your home. But sometimes you look at them and you think that it may never happen. Sometimes, between the myriad of parenting books and child-rearing philosophies, you can get lost in the “how to” of raising wonderful kids who become successful adults.


In Reggie Joiner’s Orange Parents post entitled “How to Raise a Jerk,” Joiner encourages parents in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way about raising kids who become the adults parents want to see them grow into. Here is an excerpt from this post. To read the post in its entirety, go to


Some leaders say too many who work hard at building children’s self-esteem are raising kids who will exhibit a lifestyle of entitlement and egotism. Other specialists say those who talk about children being innately bad are raising a generation that feels inferior and insignificant. Every expert has an opinion and it’s hard to know where the line actually is. Many promote their agenda by pushing the opposing opinion to the extreme.

One of the keys to parenting with balance is helping your children develop an attitude of humility. Every child has the potential to grow up and understand why it’s important to “put others first.” There is just a fine line between raising kids who have a healthy self-esteem and kids who are too egotistical. A life of arrogance that goes unchecked can result in a sad and lonely existence for someone, and frankly there are enough self-centered people around. How does someone develop an overinflated sense of self-worth and entitlement?

Here are a few ideas to help you effectively raise a jerk:

  • Protect them from the consequences of their own mistakes.
  • Make sure you do whatever they can do for themselves.
  • Keep them away from anyone who thinks differently than they do.
  • Try to give them everything they want.
  • Tell them over and over again you just want them to be happy.
  • Convince them that they are more special than other kids.
  • Always take their side when they get in trouble with their teacher at school.
  • Always take their side whenever they are in a conflict with a friend.
  • Keep insisting that they are the best player on the team.
  • Don’t give them consistent opportunities to help or serve other people.
  • Never require them to do chores.
  • Reinforce their prejudices about people from different cultures or backgrounds.
  • Make your relationship with them more important than your relationship with your spouse.
  • Rarely express genuine gratitude to those who help you.
  • Teach them to talk more than they listen.
  • Never let them hear you say, “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

Maybe you can add a few ideas of your own… on how to raise a jerk.


Whatever parenting philosophy we ascribe to, we all want to see our kids succeed. Whether it’s at school, sports, music or in the character traits they possess, we all want our kids to thrive. And the truth is, a huge part of their success is us. We set the tone for so much of their self-worth, self-understanding and self-image. So, let’s focus on being a part of the steps we want to see them take. Let’s get in the game with them and encourage their steps towards realizing the potential that God has placed inside of them.


3. Action Point

Obviously, no parent takes the advice on how to raise a jerk seriously. But what most of us do want to take seriously is the opportunity we have as parents to help our students become the best person—and eventually, the healthiest adult—they can be. We want to help them set goals and achieve them. And we want to praise them for their successes.


This month, think about helping your student make one step. Think of one new thing that you would love for your son or daughter to do. Maybe it’s to improve his or her science grade, learn how to do laundry, cook a meal or change the oil in the car. Once you have decided on one goal for your student, communicate your desire to teach this skill and let your student know why it is important to learn it. Then spend time during the month helping teach your student how to accomplish the goal.


If you want your student to improve his or her science grade, sit with him or her and study flash cards. If you want them to know how to do laundry, do a load or two together until he or she gets the hang of it. By communicating to your child why you want him or her to know or do a certain thing, you communicate respect. By spending time helping them learn, you are letting him or her know of their importance to you. You will also alleviate your child’s fear of disappointing you if they get it wrong.


The most important thing that fuels forward motion is celebration. Make sure that you celebrate your child’s step! Tell him or her that you are proud of them for working so hard or for learning something new. When your child knows that they can make you proud, they will be much more motivated to continue working on their new goal.


A Burnt Motorcycle and a string of blessings

Joy, contentment, faith, and trust. These words come to mind when we think of the mindset Christians are called to. Many times we struggle to see them in our lives.

Tonight i got tested on these things. I was riding my motorcycle home after filling the gas tank. Going up a hill it lost all power. I reached down to spin the petcock over to reserve. As i reached down i felt more heat than was normal. So i looked and flames where shooting out from under the seat. I quickly pulled over and laid the bike down along the side of the road. Near by was an old carpet. Thinking I would be slick i grabbed the carpet and tossed it over the motorcycle. Within 15 seconds the smoke stopped and i thought it was over. I lifted the carpet and the flames exploded out again. At this point it was clear I was no longer going to have a motorcycle.

I was at a crossroad. How am i going to respond? Will I let my frustration get the best of me or will i trust that even in this God had a plan?

I decided to try to look for the best. Almost right then one of my co-workers appear. His name is Harry. He had a fire extinguisher he grabbed from his home and tried to spray down the bike. Turns out I just happened to stop right across the street from his house. As we talked he said “They are going to want to tow the bike. If you want to save the money we can drag it into my drive with my tractor and once it cools down you can come back for it.”

I had another coworker offer to come pick it up and take it back to the shop and my boss is taking going scrap run tomorrow so that will get included in the trip.

So far we have one hard situation but 3 quick blessings from God. But they do not stop there. Stef and I had a busy night planned. When i called her to come get me she was cooking dinner. By the time we left Harry’s we realized there was no time to eat. We had to meet people at the church by 5:45. We where running just about on time when the first meeting called to push back their time (another blessing from God). As we walk into the building there was a meeting that dinner was served at. They had finished eating and offered Stef and I their leftovers (another blessing from God). As we where eating we met with someone and had a really good conversation. Then right as that wrapped up the next set of people walked in. They where way quicker then i expected. By 8:pm we had 3 different meetings, eat dinner, and came home.


I could have gone thought the night upset about what happened but instead am amazed by how many details God worked out.

Prayer, Donuts, and a challenge from a Hindu family

My relationship with the Indian family that runs the Morgantown Dunkin Donuts started out a little rocky. I got myself hooked on their French Vanilla Iced Coffees and really liked their tater tots so I started going in for them quite regularly.  I found it strange how my total was always different and they would overcharge me EVERY SINGLE TIME!  Eventually I realized that they had no clue how to ring up their tater tots so each would pick a different random button. My solution to the problem was to just buy Iced Coffee.

I probably find myself in DD about once a week but my order is always the same. I get a large FV Iced Coffee with cream and sugar.  I realized that I am in there too often when they could make my drink before I even ordered.

A few weeks ago my wife was in DD catching up with an old friend. As ordered me an iced coffee. The lady behind the counter looked at her smiled and said “Dis’ for your husband? Yes?”

When this family moved into Morgantown they had a lot going against them. They are in a brand new culture, struggle with language barriers, and didn’t really know anyone. They could have stayed to themselves and set up a shop worked, and make money but that’s not what they did.

The family that runs Dunkin Donuts got to know the community. They learn each customer’s orders, employers, families, and friends. They ask questions and really seem to care.  They come to community events and always great everyone with a smile.

I have had the opportunity to talk with them about faith a few times and they are not ashamed to tell about their Hindu beliefs but are also caring enough that they let Morgantown Community Church have a prayer meeting in their store every 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Can you imagine if Christians would step up and be more like this? What if we got to know our neighbors, where they work, and what they like to do? What if we stepped up and came out to community events and greeted everyone with a smile? What is we were not afraid to talk about Jesus whenever we had the chance? What if we kept trying to communicate with a culture that has a language barrier? I think this in many ways our Hindu friends at Dunkin Donuts are living more of a Christian lifestyle then many of us….