Category Archives: Faith

More Black Ministers Slamming NAACP For Fighting School Choice

Pastor Sykes

Source: Ron Matus / RedefinEd Online

Leading black ministers in Florida are ramping up criticism of the NAACP for supporting a lawsuit that seeks to kill the nation’s largest private school choice program.

The Rev. Dr. Manuel Sykes, pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, became the latest to do so, suggesting during a “radio rally” in Tampa Bay today that the esteemed civil rights organization was stuck in the past.

“While they’re fighting the old fight of integration versus segregation, our children are falling through the cracks. And in this issue, I believe they’re on the wrong side,” said Sykes, former president of the NAACP branch in St. Petersburg. “So at this point, we’re out here to advocate for and inform our African-American community that this (school choice) is something they need to support. Because while everyone is fighting on the top levels, it’s our children that’s at stake.”

At issue is the lawsuit filed last August by the Florida teachers union, Florida School Boards Association, the Florida branch of the NAACP and other groups. It argues the state’s tax credit scholarship program for low-income students is akin to the state’s first K-12 voucher program, which the Florida Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 2006. Both sides are awaiting a ruling from Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds on whether the plaintiffs have standing to continue.


To read this article in its entirety visit

Detroit Pastor Sheffield Acquitted Of Domestic Violence

Source: AP / The Detroit News

Detroit — A pastor charged with misdemeanor domestic violence involving his estranged wife has been acquitted.

Court records show a Wayne County jury on Tuesday returned the not guilty verdict in the case of the Rev. Horace Sheffield III.

The charges stemmed from a Jan. 10, 2014, incident at the home they shared in Detroit. Both said at the time that they were in the midst of a divorce.

Sheffield is pastor of New Destiny Christian Fellowship Church. In a statement, he says he was “portrayed as a physical abuser and even though the charge itself only alleged I removed a cellphone out of someone’s hand.” He says he plans to move on “without this unjust burden.”

To read this article in its entirety visit The Detroit News.

The “F” Word: Destroyer Of Productivity

By Jacquie Hood Martin, PhD Contributor (1.1.2015)

Productivity simply comes down to what you can manage versus what is managing you. It’s a ‘feeling’. Given the opportunity most people will rise to the occasion of their challenge when they possess an internal skill to over the ‘F’ word that is starving their lives from meaning and purpose. It is mastery over ones emotions.


I feel like a FAILURE.

I feel like I’m FINISHED in this industry.

I feel like the FAMILIARITY of this situation is just too close.

I feel like the FUTURE is not within my reach.

We each possess automatic negative responses. Our first inclination is to determine why we cannot do something, rather than determine how it can get done. These and other phrases that describe an emotional insecurity about your personal productivity will hinder your professional productivity. We spend an inordinate amount of time trying to solve problems and figure out issues that are not within our scope, capacity, or ability to handle. Those things we are able to do, we don’t because we are worried about what someone will say, what someone thinks about the quality of our work, or we talk ourselves out of being better than we are at this present moment. It is not about resources, but the personal resourcefulness within. In most office environments employees have access to the resources needed to accomplish the job for which they are hired. In more non-traditional settings such as non-profits, start-up companies, or certain school districts the availability of resources may be a bit scarce, but the people press on.

So if the issue is not professional, it is personal. Our personal perspective about our work ethic and the people that surround us while performing the work we have to do can hinder our productivity. However, if a person is unable to determine what triggers keep them bond to old habits office style friendships, lack of drive, and a host of other catalysts will overshadow your real ability to be productive.

As long as you remain in a position to let others dictate your feelings and you don’t have the wherewithal to step up in your own life, you will not be able to tackle what is really at the heart of the issue: YOU! Here are five questions you can answer to be more productive in your personal and professional endeavors.

1. What makes you powerless? – Determine what elements of your situation you control.

2. What gives you power? – Ascertain the skill-set you possess that will give you control over it.

3. What elements do you control and have the final decision over? – Schedule a time to executive or implement the dynamics you control.

4. What environment do you thrive in best? – Take special note of the triggers that start to render you powerless again.

5. Who is killing your joy that you allow to co-exist with you in your space? – Eliminate threats to your overall wellbeing on all levels.

Feelings are just another way we express that something is bothering us. We have a tendency to start to deal with the feeling, and not the cause of the feeling. There are some things that seem to be priority in our lives, well without you, none of those priorities will ever be accomplished. In order to be productive in your personal and professional life, it requires thinking at level far beyond that which is keeping you unproductive.

jacquiehoodmartinAbout Jacquie Hood Martin, PhD

Jacquie Hood Martin is an international speaker, author, entrepreneur and woman on mission to help others on their ‘Journey to Betterment’™. She is a former College Vice President and Dean with the City Colleges of Chicago, and is a strategic planning, leadership and balanced living expert. Her company J. Hood & Associates serves to improve the overall wellbeing of people from communities local and abroad.

Pastor Jamal Bryant Gives An Inspirational Word To Guide Us Into 2015


April Ryan talks to Pastor Jamal Bryant on the last day of 2014. Pastor Bryant gives an inspirational word to guide us into 2015 after a year of deaths, pain and hurt.

“Our address changed in 2014. This will be marked as a year when a generation woke up. Our job now has to be more than being consumers and being producers. 2014 will be hallmarked as the year we couldn’t breathe,” Bryant said.

Listen to the Tom Joyner Morning Show 24/7! WEEKDAYS: listen continuously every 4 hours starting live Monday – Friday at 6am ET.

Catch Tom Joyner’s Right Back at Cha every WEEKEND: starting at 6am ET Saturday – 5:59am ET Monday.

VALORIE BURTON: Gear Up, Don’t Give Up!

Week 42:  Gear Up, Don’t Give Up! 

Dear Friend,

There’s often a point as you are moving towards your vision when things just get hard. You get tired. The road is longer than you expected it to be, and you wonder if things will ever come together. And to be honest, you feel like giving up. In fact, you can try to convince yourself that the vision is not all that big of a deal. You don’t really want it that much. Yeah, that’s right. You’ll be just fine without it.

But your spirit knows that is not true. And today, I want to encourage you to gear up, rather than give up. Gear up for the final stretch! Stay in the game. Admit you want it. You reallywant it. And you are willing to go all out to get it. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll deal with the devastation then. But today, you’re all in! Fear of disappointment tempts us to pretend our desires aren’t that important. Courage says, “I want it and I’m willing to risk failure and heartache to get it.” Where is this message true for you right now? Maybe it is the relationship you desire or the financial breakthrough or the dream career or a family of your own or healing from a health challenge.

I just want to encourage you today to be bold and courageous. Be willing to be ridiculed for being a dreamer, an optimist, a fool. Your tenacity will be rewarded, one way or another. I’d rather be a dreamer, an optimist or fool, than a settler, a pessimist and full of regret.

My challenge to you:

Gear up, don’t give up! The road might be long, but it will be worth it.

Journaling assignment:

What does this week’s message mean to you? In what way do you need to gear up for the long haul? Head over to my blog and leave your comments; I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time …

Jerry Young Elected National Baptist Convention President

Source: Terricha Bradley / The Clarion-Ledger

The Rev. Jerry Young is ready to lead Baptists here and across the country as the new president of the National Baptist Convention, USA.

“To all of the fine Christians in Mississippi who haven’t been praying, they better start now,” a laughing Young said, soliciting prayers for his five-year term.

Young, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson, makes history as the first Mississippi pastor chosen for the position. The 134th annual session for the National Baptist Convention took place this week in New Orleans, and Young was elected Thursday night from a field of five candidates nominated for the seat.

Young garnered 3,195 of the 6,400 votes cast. His agenda involves assembling a team to work on the organization’s “infrastructure” to respond to the needs of members through a unified and fresh vision.

To read this article in its entirety visit The Clarion-Ledger.

Pastor Corey Brooks: 5,000 Men, 500 Corners Could Help Violence In Chicago


Today On the Tom Joyner Morning Show:  Roland Martin talks to Pastor Corey Brooks about the never ending violence in Chicago, and his desire to get 5,000 men on 500 corners to aid young men between the ages of 12-25.

“We’re off to a great start with 1300 men that should help impact the city of Chicago. We’re trying to build a relationship with young men and establish a rapport,” Brooks said.

Listen to the Tom Joyner Morning Show 24/7! WEEKDAYS: listen continuously every 4 hours starting live Monday – Friday at 6am ET.

Catch Tom Joyner’s Right Back at Cha every WEEKEND: starting at 6am ET Saturday – 5:59am ET Monday.


MEDIAITE: The Pope’s X-Rated Twitter Typo Elicits Some Pretty Horrible Responses

Source: Andrew Kirell  / Mediaite

So… when the average joe accidentally makes an x-rated Twitter typo, nary a peep from the internet. But when someone as important as Pope Francis makes one, the internet cesspool trolls emerge in droves.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Pope sent out a calls for prayers for the 200+ miners who died in a Turkish coal mine and the 14+ dead in a Mediterranean shipwreck. But it had one little typo [UPDATE: Tweet now deleted, screengrab added]:

Okay, so he said “spray” instead of “pray,” an accidentally x-rated remark, if your mind is constantly in the gutter. Some of Twitter’s more trollish folks came out of the swamps to capitalize on the sexual connota– HOLY CRAP there are so many people tweeting awfully vulgar stuff at the Pope right now:

To read this article in its entirety visit Mediaite

Vatican Defrocks 848 Priests In 10 Years Of Abuse

Source: and NICOLE WINFIELD John Heliprin / ABC News

The Vatican released comprehensive statistics for the first time Tuesday on how it has disciplined priests accused of raping and molesting children, saying 848 priests have been defrocked and another 2,572 given lesser sanctions over the past decade.

The Vatican’s U.N. ambassador in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, revealed the figures during a second day of grilling by a U.N. committee monitoring implementation of the U.N. treaty against torture.

Tomasi insisted the convention applied only inside the tiny Vatican City state. But he nevertheless released statistics about how the Holy See has adjudicated sex abuse cases globally, and significantly, he didn’t dispute the committee’s contention that sexual violence against children can be considered torture.

Tomasi said that since 2004, more than 3,400 credible cases of abuse had been referred to the Vatican, including 401 cases in 2013 alone. He said that over the last decade, 848 priests had been defrocked, or returned to the lay state by the pope. Another 2,572 were sentenced to a lifetime of penance and prayer or some other lesser sanction, which is often used when the accused priest is elderly or infirm.

To read this article in its entirety visit ABC News.


Boy Sang Gospel Song Until His Kidnapper Set Him Free: Report

Source: The Huffington Post

On the night of March 31, 9-year-old Willie Myrick was playing with his pet chihuahua outside his Atlanta home when a man grabbed him and forced him into a car, police said.

“He was cursing at me telling me to shut up and didn’t want to hear a word from me,” Willie told ABC affiliate WSB-TV. “He said if I told anyone, he would hurt me, like in a bad way.”

But according to a report this week by NBC affiliate WXIA-TV, not remaining silent may have saved Willie’s life.

A lover of gospel music, Willie, who just turned 10 this week, reportedly started singing the song “Every Praise” until the man — who had been driving around for almost three hours — finally threw him onto the street and drove away.

To read this article in its entirety visit The Huffington Post.