10 Reasons Your Church Could Be in Decline

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Mountains of debt, significantly plummeting church attendance and membership, and uninspired members: fundamental signs your church is in decline or failing. Do the members of your church have nostalgia for “the good old days” instead of enjoying the present and looking forward to the future? Unfortunately, too many church leaders are unwilling to engage honestly with serious issues and questions about their ministries. If in the past a church had great attendance, a constantly burgeoning membership, and limited to no indebtedness, and those phenomena are no longer in place, the leaders of the church must be candid in their approach to resolving these problems. Pretending like problems don’t exist in your church will further exacerbate them. The purpose of this piece is to offer 10 reasons your church could be in decline or failing.

  1. Envy present at all levels. When church leaders are envious and they refuse to address envy among their members, this leads to damaging disunity in their churches. Your church will never grow and experience success when its leaders and membership are dominated by a spirit of envy. Although you might claim that the power of the Holy Spirit is flowing powerfully in your church, you’re being dishonest when envy is highly prevalent in your church. The pastor of your church has to check his or her own envy and promote a spirit of unity among the membership. When people are more talented and anointed to do sundry tasks than you, provide loving support for them and don’t undermine them.
  1. The pastor is a manager instead of a leader. If your pastor has to have his or her fingerprints on everything, he or she is simply a tyrant. In various religious communities, we’re too quick to call someone a leader simply because he or she is occupying a position. A pastor who micromanages every aspect of the church’s affairs is a manager—not a leader. An effective pastor delegates authority and responsibility to other leaders and members of his or her church, and he or she trusts them to accomplish what needs executing; he or she does not supervise every detail of their work. People should feel comfortable operating in their gift without fear of receiving a negative critique or unnecessary requests from him or her to modify their work.
  1. Too many messy people. Messy pastors, church leaders, and members are the ultimate destruction of churches. Pastors and church leaders should be working to resolve messiness in the church and not participate in the messiness themselves. What are some of the ways in which a pastor can be messy, you ask? One way is for him or her to sit at home with members of his or her family and plot the undermining of certain individuals they don’t support. Another way a pastor can be messy is to pick and choose “favorites” in the church and believe anything those favorites run and tell him or her. Finally, one of the most damaging ways in which a pastor can be messy is to use his or her sermons as vehicles to attack those members he or she has problems with and to galvanize support from other leaders and members to join him or her in opposing those members. Too many churches have people who are committed to gossiping about members of their own churches, and this results in breakdowns in communication and relationships, envy, disengagement, and a dearth of productivity.
  1. The pastor selects “favorites.” Everyone in your church should be valued and feel valued. There shouldn’t be a class system within a church where “the favorites” rule as elites and everyone else is powerless and voiceless. What would Jesus do? Treat everyone the same.
  1. Too much emphasis on giving money. While it takes money to have a successful church and do effective ministry, members shouldn’t be bombarded with unremitting discourse about giving money. If your church really has something great to offer, then people will give liberally without relentless requests for and talks about money. Too many pastors are so focused on money that they have turned Jesus into a footnote and afterthought in their churches. Jesus should always be put in first place. When you put Jesus in first place, He will bless your church and abundantly supply you with money.
  1. A lack of focus on serious evangelism. Incessant focusing on money in many churches has led to soul-winning not being a top priority. Many church leaders will say that soul-winning is their top priority—only to turn immediately to soliciting money again. If you want your church to grow, you have to make a real commitment to winning souls for Christ. The money your church needs is found outside of the church: the lost souls who need to come to Christ are the additional sources of money. You cannot continue to ask for money from the same people already in your church; recruit new members through evangelism. Want a successful church? Have a church without borders—don’t remain stuck in the four walls of your building.
  1. The absence of the Gospel of Grace. One of the most frustrating phenomena about most churches is their pastors are still teaching, preaching, and witnessing as if the Mosaic and Levitical Laws are still in effect. Pastors, Jesus didn’t die on the Cross to grant you the right to lord your authority over people. Jesus died on the Cross to empower people with freedom and power through Him. Unfortunately, too many pastors are afraid to teach and preach about grace in a comprehensive way because they know this will mean that they will have to surrender their micro-managing control over their members. The New Covenant is not about subjecting one’s self to a bunch of rules and regulations; it’s about receiving God’s agape love and being empowered through the grace of Christ. When your pastor refuses to engage deeply with grace, he or she is simply a control-freak! The absence of the Gospel of Grace results in church members believing in their own performances instead of believing in what Jesus has already done at the Cross. Right believing produces right living—not vice versa.
  1. Not enough focus on teaching and studying the Bible. It seems that all many preachers want to do is scream, holler, and speak in tongues. What about imparting the Word of God, though? It’s a close and consistent study of the Word of God that brings deliverance, prosperity, healing, joy, peace, happiness, love, and etc. to people—not your screaming, hollering, speaking in tongues, requests for money, rules, regulations, and “good advice.” Unfortunately, too many pastors aren’t equipped to teach the bible properly. Many lack the necessary intellectual aptitude to teach the bible so they just attack those who are educated and say that “the Holy Ghost will reveal all things” as cheap cop out for their inability to rightly divide the Word of Truth. A pastor and his or her congregation can only progress successfully through the regenerating washing of the Word of God. Instead of having all of these revivals and “tarry services,” start having more Word of God revivals where a close study of the bible occurs. You can always identify a pastor does not really know much about the bible when he or she turns Bible Study into regular Sunday service—where testimony, singing, and non-scriptural focused discourse are placed at the forefront over teaching and studying the Word of God.
  1. A lack of meaningful innovation. Although all change is not good change, numerous churches across the nation are declining or failing because they refuse to discontinue their useless traditions. This does not mean that they need to fuse secular phenomena into their church services and practices, but your churches shouldn’t suffer from routinization. Church leaders should listen closely to members about new ideas, and they should observe successful practices and programs of other churches and implement them.
  1. Jesus isn’t being made the top priority. Too many churches aren’t being governed by the dominant principle of Jesus being in first place in all matters. When this governing principle is absent, churches continue to decline and inevitably fail. In every decision that one makes in your church, there should always be a focus on how the decision reflects Jesus being put in first place.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

10 Reasons Your Church Could Be in Decline

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Top 10 Things I Hope I Won’t See in 2016

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FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 11: Police force protestors from the business district into nearby neighborhoods on August 11, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets as residents and their supporters protested the shooting by police of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown who was killed Saturday in this suburban St. Louis community. Yesterday 32 arrests were made after protests turned into rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

FERGUSON, MO – AUGUST 11:  . (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The New Year has taken shape and New Year resolutions have also been announced. Without further ado Happy New Year! I have a few resolutions, but this blog post isn’t about me on a personal level. I just wish everyone peace, good health and prosperity. Avoiding certain events and actions, is what I want, so I compiled a list. Some of them are probably impossible to get, but hey maybe if I put in in the universe it will manifest itself into reality.

  1. The continuous killing of unarmed Black people by the police. I mean seriously, the police have killed more Black people than they have been lynched since Jim Crow. The constant killing of Black bodies have taken a toll on so many people, that some of us are numb to these realities of police culture, whenever the latest trigger warning video takes place.

  2. Donald Trump winning the Presidency. If America is that stupid (well some are) to vote for the man who is the epitome of a racist, then it may be time for some of us who aren’t of a Caucasian persuasion to rebel. It astonishes me how this racist nut job is leading the polls. Hopefully, it is all a mirage, and the GOP voters will be voting for someone else. Even if they do, it’s still scary due to the options that are just as bad as Trump.

  3. Local District Attorneys overseeing police shootings that kill civilians. DA’s have too much of a close relationship, with police officers. They willfully throw away cases for police officers that commit murder, so that the officers can get away with it. Let someone who has no relationship with the local police, take over the investigation.

  4. Folks contributing to rape culture. So many people are taking their superhero uniforms out the closet to defend those, who are accused of rape. They contribute to the ignorance with the narrative that suggests rape didn’t happen because they took way to long to report it. People like that are the reasons why rape victims, are hesitate to speak up.

  5. That All Lives Matter crap. Of course, all lives are important, but seriously, are all lives (all races) being murdered at astronomical levels, by police? You know that answer to that, so shut up!

  6. People on their soap box on social media complaining about Facebook status updates. If one does not like a status, it’s quite easy to unfriend or unfollow the person. No one, and I mean, not a soul is holding the complainer cyber hostage.

  7. Comparing The Weeknd to Michael Jackson. That is beyond disrespectful. That also goes for those who want to compare Adele to being the next Whitney Houston; just stop it.

  8. The what about Black-on-Black crime narrative, when discussing brutality by police. Please Black-on-Black crime advocates, take a criminology course, review the FBI crime statistics reports and stop allowing the news to shape one’s narrative. Some people sound like Fox News pundits, and it’s even worse when they are Black spewing that foolery.

  9. Refusing to vote in local elections. Judges, prosecutors, representatives are on the ballots in a lot of local elections, and when I go to vote, it’s like a ghost town. Don’t be enthusiastic about just voting for the Presidential Election, one needs to get an education on these judges, prosecutors, etc. who have the power and has brought injustices to your life. Start voting!

  10. Avoiding jury duty. Another nail in the coffin as far as justice goes, when we get upset that an all-white jury is selected for Ray-Ray and Pookie’s trial. Maybe, if Black people stop avoiding jury duty, they can be on one of these cases and listen to evidence without the racial bias it embeds itself in when it’s an all-white jury. Just food for thought.

There are other things I hope I don’t see, but for now, these are the main topics that should be left in 2015.

-Ms Scripter

Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?

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GoFundMe Is Becoming, The Internet Version of Panhandling

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OPINION- When I’m on social media it is for a few reasons, which are to post mainly an update to this blog, upload a few pictures, like everyone’s new baby pictures (I love the bundles of joy), interact with associates, friends and family. I also usually partake in some foolery and discussing series topics, with emphasis on social justice issues.

Now when I log on to do these things on social media, I feel like I’m riding the subway, as if a panhandler enters the subway car and comes up with a story as to why he/she needs help. The beggar walks through the car door with their dirty cup in hand, shaking it so we can hear the change clashing together as if to say people gave me change, so help me out. Little do we know, that same panhandler has enough cash in their pocket from folks who have given them money over time that would probably pay our cell phones bills for at least a few months. The average panhandler can rack up, a very lucrative amount of money.

A 43-year-old man who sits outside Grand Central Terminal in New York City reportedly makes $200 per hour collecting handouts from passersby

I’m not saying no one should give change or cash at any give time, but when one starts to see the same panhandler on one’s ride to and from work, then they don’t look like someone that needs help but replicates a co-worker minus the company paycheck. It’s almost like the panhandler is doing 8 hours of hustle work, and they get money tax-free. I grew up all my life seeing beggars everywhere, but I would think I wouldn’t have to see that style when I log on to my computer to get my nerd on and interact with those who share my common interests.

Besides seeing, the over-saturated and quite nauseating fight videos that come across my timeline on Facebook. I’m starting to see an array of GoFundMe requests that is beginning to appear to be downright annoying. The GoFundMe consists of requests for financial assistance for school, funeral costs, wedding cost, bail money for a family member, money to pay bills, and other financial assistance scenarios.

It has gotten so bad, that I have unfollowed a ton of begging FB friends because I’m tired of seeing it on my news feed. The straw that broke the camels back for me is when I saw a GoFundMe request from someone asking for $5,000 to make home cook meals for children [pause]. What made it worse, I have talked to this person in the past, and I know about their history and they don’t want to use that money for providing home cook meals for kids, they want to use it for their financial gain.

When I see the request for funeral cost now, I analyze to a fault. Just the other day a person was seeking funds for funeral cost but was flossing on Facebook about the new television set that they purchased as an early Christmas gift for themselves. What I was thinking, maybe that money should have been invested in life insurance for your parents, so you don’t have to ask people on social media for money when one of them is no longer with us. Monthly life insurance fees are not expensive, and it cost less than what one would spend at the clubs, malls, or any other place on a monthly basis. Some folks who are requesting donations, have either never met me before, or rarely interacted with me on social media.

The last time I donated to help someone on GoFundMe was to the Orta family. Ramsey Orta recorded Eric Garner’s final moments. That video sent a shock wave through social media and assisted with putting police departments (NYPD) in the spotlight concerning excessive and deadly force. Orta was arrested a short time later, and I believe that was a revenge arrest. That is one of the police departments, M.O., so I had an invested interest in assisting Orta.

Due to this new GoFundMe request craze on my timeline, I am no longer donating to a damn thing. My money that I work hard for will stay in my pocket. There are other means to give back to “legitimate” people who need help, but from the look of things, a lot of folks are just requesting money through fraudulent and selfish means and that’s messing up those who legitimately need assistance. Thanks to these characters, I will always side-eye the GoFundMe request that invades my timeline and enthusiastically ignore each and everyone.

Before social media, how were these same people taking care of their financial business? Not too many folks could become Pastors and run their church hustle (you mad?) in the neighborhood.  How else were they getting their hustle on? Let’s stop making GoFundMe the new panhandling hustle, it is doing a disservice to those who need it the most because I am no longer attempting to decipher the real from the fake.

[SOURCE]

-Ms Scripter

Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?

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Don’t Blame It on the Alcohol

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When you do stupid stuff under the influence of alcohol, don’t blame it on the alcohol—blame it on your own stupid self! Alcohol has to take the blame for far too many things that it is not causing. Alcohol does not make people do stupid things—people do stuff things because they want to do them. When you know that drinking too much alcohol is going to cause you to act foolishly, you are to be held fully responsible for your actions—not the Grey Goose! While I love Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It,” it’s just a fun song; it’s not a song with a profound message for you to apply to your life. In some ways, I think Jamie Foxx’s song is actually making fun of how people use alcohol as an excuse for all of the poor decisions they make.

When you are drunk and run into a car and kill people, alcohol is not going to save you from prison. Alcohol is not going to bring those people back to life. Alcohol is not going to comfort the victims’ families.

I am not trying to discourage you from drinking alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with you drinking alcohol at all. I just want you to drink alcohol responsibly. If you are going to get drunk, make sure that you don’t plan to get behind the wheel of a car. The only time when it’s a problem for you to get drunk is when you put yourself in a position to hurt someone else because you are intoxicated. Don’t let your love of alcohol be the ruin of yourself, and please don’t let it be ruin of others.

Some people think that it’s so cute to say that they got so “messed up” from drinking alcohol. They go to extremes to try to promulgate that they got “messed up.” It seems to me that they are not simply enjoying the alcohol, but are enjoying the attention that the alcohol can get them. Drink for yourself—don’t drink for others.

Make sure that you are able to handle your alcohol. I have seen people become so violent when they are drunk. To men, being drunk is not an excuse for you to raise your hands and hit a woman. If you raise your hands and hit a woman while you are drunk, I think that you deserve to go to jail. I know that the judge is just going to love to hear your excuse that the alcohol made you do it.

Let alcohol be a commodity that bring us together and not one that destroys us. Alcohol can always be a positive commodity, but it’s going to take responsible consumers to always make it a positive commodity. If you are not a responsible person, then stay away from alcohol. If you are friends with a person who is not a responsible drinker, then encourage him or her to be a more responsible drinker. Your friend may reject your advice but at least you will have played a part in trying to get him or her to change the way he or she drinks.

Blame your ignorance on yourself!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Rappers Are Dying Young: Time To Focus On Preventive Healthcare

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Sean PriceOPINION- Another rapper has died who did not reach the age of 50. Sean Price, who I loved, from the rap duo Helter Skelter passed away in his sleep, recently. Rappers dying at a young age has been a reoccurring theme in the hip-hop community for quite some time, but it’s a cause for alarm. I took noticed of rap artists dying at a young age when Eazy-E of the legendary group N.W.A. died of complications from AIDS. Eazy E was only 31 years old. I remember hearing the news of his death and being shocked that the AIDS epidemic has hit hip-hop and took the life of a legend.

The list of hip-hop artists that have all passed away at a young age is problematic. I am a strong believer that record companies should provide health benefits to their artists like other jobs and if one is an independent, Obamacare should be one of the things that these artists should consider and use.

Here are just a few artists who have died at such a young age, thus far:

  • Heavy D – 44 years old
  • Nate Dogg – 41 years old
  • Ms. Melodie – 43 years old
  • Guru of Gangstarr – 48 years old
  • Lord Infamous of 36 Mafia – 40 years old
  • Sean Price – 43 years old
  • DJ EZ Rock – 46 years old
  • Cowboy of The Furious Five – 38 years old
  • Big Pun – 28 years old
  • Old Dirty Bastard -35 years old
  • Pimp C – 33 years old
  • MC Breed – 37 years old
  • Aoache – 45 years old
  • Tim Dog -46 years old
  • Chris Kelly of Kriss Kross – 34 years old

These are only a few that I’ve listed; I’m sure there are others who contributed to the genre in some fashion would have made this list. These deaths could have been avoided with proper health care and preventive actions. Yearly physicals and staying on top of one’s health is imperative to living a long life. What needs to take place is educating oneself on how to improve one’s health to live a long prosperous life.

Musicians like Keith Richards from the group The Rolling Stones, for example, is still alive and kicking at the age of 7 1 years old. Richards was heavy in the drug scene and hasn’t faced the same fate as a lot of these hip-hop artists have unfortunately faced. Richards has been real coy about how he can still maintain playing on the road and living. If I were to guess, Richards has doctors on his side, but for some reason he isn’t going to reveal too much concerning his routine, as far as his health is concerned. Richards did say this in an interview in 2013 about his past drug use:

“I’ve got to stop now, or I’m going to go in for hard time.” The cocaine I quit because I fell on my head! Due to that – no more coke. Actually, my body tells me when to stop . . . the hard way. It’s a knock on the head – OK. It’s no big deal to me, to give things up.”

Richards knew when to stop living a hard life, and he is the epitome of what an artist resembles concerning drugs and alcohol. Richards is still alive and kicking because he realized at the rate he was going, The Rolling Stones would have a dead member eventually.

I just wish hip-hop artists focus on their health, get educated to avoid being on the list of hip-hop artists dying fairly young. Without the education, and staying on top of one’s health, we are going to have more of these artists facing the same fate. Lastly, this isn’t just in hip-hop, it’s the Black community in general who need to get serious about one’s health. Don’t get mad at the wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend and family members who nagged you about following up on physicals, eating right, minimizing alcohol intake, exercising, and such. Simple routine doctors visits, improving eating habits, and avoiding bad habits in general can save one’s life.

Check out the U.S. Department of Health Services that provides a list of preventive measures to improve one’s health: hhs.gov

[SOURCE]

-Ms Scripture

Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?

 

 

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Bombarded with Relationship Advice…

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givingadviceSometimes you can simply get too much relationship advice. Too much relationship advice can cause you to lack the will to solve your own relationship problems. Now, there’s nothing wrong with listening to the advice of others about your relationship problems, but don’t listen to too many voices. When you listen to too many voices about your relationship problems, this means you are talking to too many people about your relationship problems. You just might be having some of those relationship quandaries because you are sharing too much with too many folks. For those of you who have discovered that the more information you share with others about your relationship, the worse it gets. Pause one moment. Did you ever think about the reason that it keeps getting worse and worse stems from those people who you keep sharing information with all the time? The ones you are telling all of your relationship business to could be the ones that are going to take your woman or man—just a thought.

Women, when your man cheats on you, you just might want to seek out the advice of another man and not another woman. Many of the responses of women I have encountered will simply say, “Girl, you need to leave him.” Although cheating is one of the greatest betrayals, it’s not always best to simply discontinue a relationship with someone because he or she has cheated on you. The reason that many women will tell you that you should just leave him is they are not the ones who have to climb back in that empty bed night after night. No, I’m not advocating for you to let a man continue to dishonor you by cheating on you time after time, but you should not simply listen to the voices of people who are not going to rationally help you to think about this situation in its totality and who are not going to help you to make the decision that is truly best for you.

Yes, I know that I mentioned previously that you are bombarded with too much relationship advice and it seems that you are getting relationship advice from what I have composed thus far. The only reason that I have written what I have thus far is to cause you to seriously reflect on the relationship advice you get and to expose some of the irrationality and lack of depth in thought that accompanies much of the relationship advice you receive.

The person who needs to be the expert about the relationship you are in or about relationships in general is you. Why would you allow someone to be an expert about a person who you know better than he or she does? That’s silly! Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with getting other viewpoints, but you should not allow those viewpoints to skew the realities about the person you are in a relationship with.

It seems like every time I go to various blogs there’s someone giving people relationship advice. So many talk shows frequently focus on giving relationship advice. Too many people’s discourses are concentrated on relationship advice.  What qualifies a person to give relationship advice to another person? Why should anyone listen to what you have to say about relationships? Can your personal relationship advice really be applied to another person’s relationship?

Random question (I think): Why have so many people allowed Steve Harvey to become a popular national relationship “expert” for women and men?

On Facebook, I have noticed that people will disclose the things that are going on in their relationships through their statuses, and from what they have learned in their relationships, they will share with the rest of their Facebook friends their “profound epiphanies.”

Be more selective about the people who you elect to get relationship advice from when you are having relationship problems. Try to solve your own relationship problems before you let some blog writer, Steve Harvey, Oprah, your pastor, and/or others attempt to solve them for you. When you begin to feel overwhelmed with so much relationship advice, I want you to think about how much you are responsible for this feeling. Most of the time you are so bombarded with relationship advice because you allowed yourself to be overwhelmed with it.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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The Top 5 Reasons Why I Shredded Your Resume

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Shred job applications.

Shred job applications.

I have written posts about resumes and how one should conduct themselves in interviews countless times. I have reviewed resumes for nearly two decades and have conducted job interviews for that same length of time. With that being said, I am dishearted at the fact that many people just don’t know what a resume should entail once one decides to email it to a potential employer.

Once I receive an email, either through Monster or to my direct email address to review. I pick out the best ones, but I’m often horrified that many people still do not know what not to do when creating a resume. This is why many of the resumes that I receive might end up being placed in the shredder.

Here are the top 5 reasons why I shredded your resume:

  1. Spelling errors: Please have someone proofread one’s resume before submitting it to job sites for potential employers to evaluate. I see countless spelling errors throughout one’s resumes, and it is more than likely a reason employers will not take one seriously enough to think about giving them an interview, yet alone hiring them. It is better to have more than one pair of eyes reviewing it because they will likely catch an error that one did not see. If it’s for a management position one is applying for, more than likely the shredder will be having a rendezvous with the resume.
  2. Inappropriate email address: Gmail is free, so why can’t one just create an email address that is appropriate and professional. I’m not going to entertain an email address that has a stripper name, or any other sexually explicit name. I saw an email address on a resume that stated: BlackNHung@such&such.com (I changed the actual address to protect the innocent). What do I look like emailing someone with an email address like that? Inappropriate emails addresses are unprofessional, and it indicates to potential employers that one is unprofessional themselves.
  3. The resume looks like a four-page letter: The last time I checked four-page letter was a song composed by the late Aaliyah. I’m sure Aaliyah didn’t equate that to writing one to replicate a resume. A resume should never exceed a page, one should learn how to minimize the jobs so that they fit on one page alongside their education. Also, I don’t need to see paragraphs after paragraph on how many recommendations and awards one receives. Keep it simple with enough detail, but don’t over exceed it. I don’t want to be flipping though page after page of one’s work experience.
  4. Too many jobs listed: I don’t need to read 100 jobs on one’s resume. A good seven years of work experience would suffice. If one had an overabundance of jobs within that seven-year period (say one is hypothetically in their 30’s or 40’s) that indicates one is not stable in a job environment. Some jobs one can leave off a resume, but I should never have to read a long list, which turns a potential employer off. I am looking to hire someone who will more than likely stay longer than five months – try a few years!
  5. Lying: Please don’t lie to oneself and this includes the topic of education. If one is three credits away from receiving one’s bachelor’s or master’s degree, then you didn’t get a degree. Stop saying you have a bachelor’s because when it’s time to prove that one does have a degree, and one can’t come up with proof;  that can cost one a job. Also, stop lying about a job one had that one never obtained in the first place. That’s what checkable references are for, if the references can’t be verified, then one’s job history is null and void. Some companies (most notably if one is applying for a city, state or federal job) usually request the potential employer print out all the jobs that one have accumulated from the social security office.

Take this time to review one’s resume and change anything that may apply to this list. One does not want to have their resume end up in the shredder due to these mistakes, which could have been avoided. Happy job hunting!

-Ms Scripter

Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?

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What Does The Black Church Do, With All That Money?

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Members of the congressional black caucus address a gathering at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.  More than a dozen members of the congressional black caucus are visiting Birmingham for the 50th anniversary of the church bombing that killed four black girls.  Relatives of all four girls who died in the Ku Klux Klan bombing are expected to attend. They will receive bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal presented earlier this week in Washington. Fourteen-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley died in the bombing with 11-year-old Denise McNair. Cynthia Wesley also was known as Cynthia Morris.  (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Members of the congressional black caucus address a gathering at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. More than a dozen members of the congressional black caucus are visiting Birmingham for the 50th anniversary of the church bombing that killed four black girls. Relatives of all four girls who died in the Ku Klux Klan bombing are expected to attend. They will receive bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal presented earlier this week in Washington. Fourteen-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley died in the bombing with 11-year-old Denise McNair. Cynthia Wesley also was known as Cynthia Morris. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

OPINION – The Black Church is a big business, whether one likes to admit it or not. The Black Church alone has accumulated well over 400 billion dollars in the past 30 years. I came across an article dated back to May of 2013, concerning this staggering number. I can imagine that number has been bypassed in the present at astronomical rates.  Before I get the “what about the churches in the white communities?” I’m not worried about them, I’m worried about “us” and the state of Black affairs.

When I’m in the Black neighbourhoods all I see is a church at every corner, a liquor store, and businesses that aren’t owned by Blacks infiltrating the neighborhood like the plague. All businesses in the neighborhoods aren’t owned by Blacks, nor the majority of the Black community owns the place that they reside.

The issue of how much wealth has accumulated in the Black church gave me reason to pause and how that money can address some issues. Issues ranging from: lack of community centers for the youth and the elderly, militarization of police departments, education, mass incarceration rates, school to prison pipeline, jobs being outsourced overseas, lack of Black owned businesses (which includes banks) and these issues are primarily in the poor Black community. I can go on and on…

Research conducted by Livesteez has reported that an estimate of $420 billion in tithes and donations has been accumulated by Black churches since the 1980s. An ongoing investigation into the spending of mega-church leaders was first initiated by Senator Charles Grassley around 2008.

“The church has gotten caught up in materialism and greed, a lifestyle. Many ministers today want to live like celebrities and they want to be treated like celebrities. In other words, instead of the church standing with the community, the church has become self-serving. It has strayed away from its mission,” stated Dr. Love Henry Whelchel, professor of church history at The Interdenominational Theological Center.

All that money that is assessable, one would think would make the lives of those who attend church and those in the community would improve for the better. Some churches do organize marches (concerning police brutuality), but what have marches done for us lately? One would think all the money Clefo Dollar, Bishop Long, and T.D. Jakes among others received (especially in the mega church) poverty levels would subside right?

In the past 30 years, poverty levels in the Black community are worse than it has been in the present. People can’t find jobs because the jobs one’s parents had are now extinct. Once jobs were outsourced thanks to the GOP’s favorite icon President Ronald Reagan with his “Reaganomics”, jobs that used to flourish in Detroit, Baltimore, and other inner cities have been sent overseas.

The vast amount of money the Black church has garnered has come from an already poor community. One would think these church leaders would take that funding and redistributed it into their poor districts. I mean a total of 400 Billion dollars in the past 30 years, would contribute to ensuring businesses are started up, community centers are built, and even funding for college are started. I would love to see the day that a Black grocery store, laundry mat, cleaners are started up based on the outpouring donations of those who attend these churches.

Just check out what Clefo Dollar was recently requesting, but the outrage was swift:

Dollar attributed his family’s safe arrival to “a grace working on that airplane, that brought my girls back home to me, you understand what I am saying?” he said from the pulpit to thunderous applause.

Dollar said that after those incidents, he “knew that it was time to begin to believe God for a new airplane.”

All I see and hear is these Pastors like Clefo Dollar asking for private jets, living in lavish mansions and driving luxury vehicles. Tax-free money all at their disposal, no questions asks – but where is the integrity? These church leaders claim to love serving the community every Sunday, but how about serving that same community in return? That tax-free money should be reinvested in the right places where one can see improvement in the community in which they reside. As far as I’m concerned these church leaders are using their congregation to support their materialistic lifestyle, while their congregation remains poor, oppressed and ignored.

What I also noticed, during the current Black Lives Matter movement, the mega church has been absent. Not one comment from the likes of Bishop Long, T.D. Jakes, etc. How about bailing out everyone when protestors were arrested during Baltimore and the Fergurson uprising (because I refuse to call oppressive actions a riot). The Black Church was a force to be the reckoned with during a time where Martin Luther King Jr. was fighting for civil rights. King and his supporters were quickly bailed out during their acts of civil disobedience, which led to their arrest. In the present, the lack of support from the Black church has been a glaring reality.

Religion is big business; unfortunately that big business does not equate to improvement to those that seek positive results in the community. Pastors like that aren’t serving God, they are serving themselves, and that is one of the reasons I would never give my hard earned money to any of them. I’m not telling one to stop attending church, but do the research and investigate the church and their leaders. One should ask major questions, but the main one should be this:

Is the church one is willing to attend, doing all there is possible to help the poor, or are they retrieving all the tithes for their own financial gain?

Before going to a church where the Pastors are millionaires and contribute nothing to the people they serve, do the proper research. There are good Black Churches out their, but they are being overshadowed by these materialistic leaders.  False Prophets are lining their pockets with the cash one gives away, and they couldn’t care less about their congregation. Just imagine if the Black Church did the right thing, how much of a financial powerhouse they would be? The Black Church has been skating way too long, with no accountability, and that has got to stop. These Church leaders sold out for their individual wealth, and that is not what the history of the Black church was clearly about. Now it’s about reality shows like the Preachers of L.A., and that alone should tell one where all money is going.

-Ms Scripter

Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?

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The Problem is You—Not Someone Else

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blake-shelton

When one allows his or her challenges, problems and circumstances to overtake him or her, the resolution lies in the mirror. You are the problem. Stop running around trying to make it seem like the problem is someone else. Even when you do underhanded stuff to attempt to make the real problem seem like it’s someone else, the fact still remains the true problem is you. People will allow their intellectual and spiritual vision to become clouded by listening to the lies and noise of folks who really don’t mean to do them any good in the first place. You have to be careful who you lend your ears to, considering you might be lending them to someone who is responsible for your downward spiral or downfall. Always allow the wisdom and discernment God gives you to lead you, even when you’re at home with members of your immediate family. Lending your ears to the words and “advice” of those immediate family members may be the reason why you’re dealing with the challenges, problems and circumstances you’re currently facing.

A person who has great character does not allow what he or she is going through to have a deleterious impact on his or her character. People with great character rise above the problem and seek an effective and amicable resolution to the problem.

If you’re truly interested in resolving your problems, then you should welcome the input of people you’ve known for a long time. When they offer their opinions and critiques, you shouldn’t turn them into your enemies simply because they express unsettling sentiments. Those unsettling sentiments might be the vehicles through which you realize what you need to do to remedy your problems. God intentionally designed us to be dependent on one another, evidenced from the beginning of the world by Adam’s longing for human companionship and a “help meet.” Never allow a spirit of intolerance to cause you to think and act ignorantly.

When people challenge you, embrace the challenge.

Never be afraid to acknowledge and admit you’re losing your way. Although people are willing to give superficial support to someone who says, “be yourself,” many don’t demonstrate an authentic commitment to being themselves.

Get out of your comfort zone and respond to your problems candidly. You will live a more enjoyable life when you muster the courage to deal squarely with your problems. Take the necessary time to conduct a frank self-assessment. Engage in deep thought about the way you process problems and your style(s) for addressing them. Make the essential modifications and begin to live life to the fullest.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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I Wish Fight Videos & Disturbing Pictures Are Banned From Social Media

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Fight VideosOPINION- When I joined social media it was a direct link to staying in touch with family, friends, associates, former co-workers, and enhance networking opportunities. As the years went by, my social media feeds no longer just stayed with the cute pictures and videos of one’s baby taking their first step, graduating pre-school, high school, and college. We also witness family members, friends, or associates get married, celebrating other events, where people will like to share. Then there are social media videos that are created for entertainment purposes. For example, animals being silly, old school interviews of one’s heroes, music videos, anything posted with good taste in mind.

Unfortunately, too many people share information that has no business being on social media. Sometimes I wonder do we share this information for attention, or one just don’t understand what social media etiquette is all about before one shares these videos and pictures. I’m not even going to tackle inappropriate status updates, I’ll save that for another blog post.

The latest thing that I’ve notice is the videos that seem to pop up on my news feed that are downright disturbing. Videos that are so graphic that if there were a law designed to against posting disturbing videos, twenty percent of my friends list would be facing felony charges. I recall one idiot who decided to post a beheading video. I don’t know if he was working for ISIS to spread the message, or something that I can’t quite understand that has to do with their psychological issues. I unfriend that idiot immediately, without hesitation.

Then the newest and most annoying trend is the fight videos. I am wondering if the detrimental company called WorldStarHipHop has now sponsored my social media experience. Every five minutes I see videos of mostly young people from various locations across the US fighting and some folks will post it to their personal page thinking it’s hilarious. Fight videos, unless it’s going to be Pacquiao versus Mayweather (I’m rooting for Pac, don’t judge me) are the only fight videos I will like to see, or the old Ali or Mike Tyson fights. One should keep that other idiocy off of their news feed, nothing entertaining about one contributing to the stereotype that all Black people are always fighting. If one pays attention that is all that’s posted when it comes to fighting videos – Black people the majority of the time are the participates. For those people that love to post those fight videos, one is contributing to the entire illusion that we all act like we don’t have an ounce of sense.

It’s bad enough the mainstream media believes that the fight concerning those teenage girls in the Brooklyn McDonalds is something new and requires constant mentioning on the late night news. I know for a fact, that fights like that occurred when I was growing up. It’s just that people rather cheer on fights, video record it and plastered it on their social media account until the mainstream media gets their hands on it and call the participates “animals”. Back in the days fights like this didn’t result in the participate running to the nearest airport on their way to Jamaica like they were on the top 10 most wanted list for being a drug kingpin. Nowadays, fights like this, will get the participates felony charges brought against the them, and in some cases if they are teens they will be charged as an adult.

I’m not saying these fights are acceptable, I think the punishment is justified, but now “evidence” where one screams WorldStar will have the aggressor looking like  a coward while jumping someone.  Furthermore, videos can not only get them slapped with a felony charged, they also risk the possibility of not even being able to obtain a job that requires a background check when they get older. Now, one has a record, and a potential employer can now Google the person, and find all those atrocities. Parents step up and start parenting with social media in mind because it’s quite evident that parenting skills are not up to par, to say the least.

Then we have to see folks who feel we want to experience what it feels like to be at the funeral they just attended. Posting the now deceased Uncle in his immaculate casket and suit is the new trend that not only is disturbing, but does not bond well with me at all. A funeral should remain one’s personal business, I don’t need a person to be sharing it and it’s disrespectful to the deceased, and the deceased family members, as well. Why would anyone take a selfie with a deceased body lying in the casket, as the person throws up the deuces? Again, why do we continue to enact this type of behavior?

Lastly, if one is in trouble, we shouldn’t take the time to update a photo instead of calling the police. One of the most frightening pictures that I’ve seen on social media is the after effect of someone being beaten. That person thought it was justified to post a picture of their battered face and body, instead of calling the police they wanted to share their pain on social media. It’s like to say look what he/she has done to me and they want to hear the sympathetic words or a thumbs up. I am vehemently against any kind of violence unless one is defending themselves, but taking the time to selfie the residue effects after a beating is mind blogging to me.

One of the best features of social media with emphasis on Facebook is the unfriend and unfollow button. One has to use that feature because at times some folks on one’s friend list can mess with one’s psyche. Ignorance can be contagious if one allows it and me for one do not want to see the idiocy on my news feed. For those who may feel this blog post is in reference to the things one has posted in the past. Take a review of one’s own personal news feed and sees if what I describe fits. Stop posting videos and pictures that are disturbing because eventually I am not only going to question one’s psychological make-up, but I’ll send them to the social media abyss forever.

-Ms Scripter

Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?

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