The Greatest That Never Was

800px-Josh_Gibson_HOF_PlaqueFor the purist of baseball, there are a few known facts which seem to be a consensus. The first is that Babe Ruth is the greatest player that ever was and possibly will ever be. Even people who were on steroids couldn’t reach the larger than life stature of the Great Bambino. Go back into a similar time frame and is another legend, but unfortunately, we will never know what will come of the greatest slugger in the Negro Leagues, Josh Gibson. Gibson often called the black Babe Ruth never got his chance to play in the MLB. It leaves a giant question of how good he could have been. It’s up there with such debates what would have happened if Ichiro would have played his whole career in the US? What if Prior and Wood would have not been hit by the injury bug? What if Dwight Gooden didn’t have a substance abuse problem? What if JR Richard didn’t have that stroke? Baseball if full of what if’s and the list could go on. However, the only legend which comes close to the Babe is that of Josh Gibson. He was rumored to have hit almost 800 home runs in his career. The only player who may have been better than Gibson during his time was Stachel Paige. Paige who many believe could have been one of the greatest if not the greatest pitcher of all-time but did not get his break until his 40’s. These two could have changed baseball’s history had they had the opportunity to play even by the age of 30. They will remain one of baseball’s biggest what if’s and go down as potentially the greatest ball players who never were.

Now we can sit around and fantasize about what could have been, but we will never know. When we look back it is another example of how stupid segregation was. It also serves as an example of how many today go about their day’s with unfulfilled potential. Within each of us is a God-given calling. Some of us have a grander calling in the eyes of man, but in the eyes of God, we are all equal. For some, they are held down by what their circumstances, for other we don’t have this hurdle. While many of us are only held down by ourselves. Our dreams are often within our reach but because we fear the unknown we don’t chase them. This is a terrible tragedy because as Christians we should all strive to be the best at one thing that is love. We all have different callings, but no one has ever been held back in their true calling because of love. We can’t afford to be held back by ourselves because life already throws us enough hurdles. We would never know who the Gibson’s or Paige’s of the world were if they would have one day thought that they couldn’t do what they do. While their potential may have never been fulfilled on the big stage they would have dreamed their impact remained. They may have never reached the Major Leagues in their prime of even at all, but think about the legacy they may have left behind. How many people saw them and want to be like them. How many people watched and were inspired to be better because of them. One of the things which often is forgotten is the impact of being the one who opens the door for the future.

During the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. never was able to see the world change as he dreamed. Nor did in the journey of the Israelites did Moses ever see the promise land. In our society, we need not only Moses’s, but we need Joshua’s as well. Not everyone will get that golden stage like Jackie Robinson did some of us will be legends in the shadows like Gibson. Just because we are not on the street we want to be on doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. While Josh Gibson might not have played in the Major Leagues his legacy was in the hearts of a number of great baseball players.

For those of you who don’t know Josh Gibson died at the age of 35 in 1947. Four months later Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the rest was history.

“One of the things that was disappointing and disheartening to a lot of the black players at the time was that Jack was not the best player. The best was Josh Gibson. I think that’s one of the reasons why Josh died so early – he was heartbroken.” –Larry Doby

When I look at the story of Josh Gibson I have to wonder what he could have done and historians will forever think the same thing. He left his mark and left a legacy, but for many, that legacy could have been much greater if it were not for selfishness, greed, and racism. Still today people are struggling due to circumstances they cannot control. This is major because we first have to examine how we can make our world better by tearing down prejudicial barriers, but also shows why we need to invest. This my friends are why it is so important to invest in humanity. Support people who may not have everything which you have. One major hurdle was the reason the world never truly knew the legacy of Josh Gibson. How many people are being held back because they don’t have the means to clear a hurdle. You never know what that investment could turn into. Peace and Blessings Always My Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Dear America, This Immigration Thing is Getting Ridiculous

resist-cover-584x389Once again this is beyond ridiculous. If you want to make “America Great Again!” rise up. Rise up America because this is a national tragedy going on right now. I know this country is able to unite under tough circumstances and this again is a tough circumstance. We sit three weeks into a new presidency and already there are a number of crises on our hands. None more serious than the immigration which we’re are currently facing there are people who are being deported after living in this nation crime free for over 20 years. We are seeing people because of an unconstitutional Muslim ban people who were cleared to enter this nation legally prohibited from doing so.

Not only is the plan which the President looking to do irrational, it’s unethical. What he is doing is dictating this nation. He is putting us in a position to go against everything that is American. The worse part about this is pretty much every American is in favor of immigration reform but this is not it. Singling out certain people, and those who come to this nation seeking a better life just like out ancestors did. He’s going down a dark road which we have not seen in years.

Immigration raids have already begun around the country and all it is doing is tearing families apart. They are moving people out of this nation who have been trying to do the right thing. 99% of immigrants who come this nation have nothing but the best intentions they want to work and they are not here to get a hand out they want to get away from what they were facing. It’s ridiculous what is going on with this matter. Rather than wasting all these resources on immigration measures which most of America does not support why are we not creating jobs. Why is Flint, Michigan still without clean water?

Donald Trump is focusing on the groups of immigrants which he sees convenient and innocent lives are at risk. This president does not care about what is good for others or what is right he cares about what is good for himself and what is right in his eyes. Thank God, that the courts are taking down Trump on his Muslim ban, but he is still persisting with an irrational ban which had no basis. We have all heard about the holes in the ban and thus I do not need to repeat them. However, we have to continue to voice ourselves in a peaceful manner to ensure this nation does not collapse or become the villains. The other day the Pope called on Christians to build bridges, not walls. To think this needs to be reiterated to people is troubling.

It’s Time to Re-Think: Immigration

Hi, everybody sorry for my absence I was working one another project and obviously sticking to my seminary and work schedule, but I am finding this is probably the better platform to move forward with my work on many of these issues. So I will continue to try to be consistent in my post. A lot has happened since I last posted to this blog. Here is one of my pieces which I had worked on a different platform, but it’s too big of a post not to share in my view. It’s a little outdated, but it’s still a major issue.

Let me get straight to the point if you want to call yourself a Christian, but don’t see the need to help immigrants than its time to re-think your faith.`For the past week there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the executive action signed by President Trump, and for those of you who do not believe it’s a Muslim ban it’s time to re-think. There was no logic behind it, and there was really no premise behind it. As a Christian, we are called to help the weak, poor, and oppressed. This is a nation which is built on immigrants. Banning immigrants based on religion goes against what our founding fathers fought for. Anyone who has passed their first-grade history class should know that one of the reason’s our forefathers came to this nation was religious freedom. This is not just limited to Christians, but every other faith on God’s green earth. If we want a nation which is under God, and a democracy which is for the people and by the people then we MUST have this freedom. This is basic and banning people based on their faith not only is un-American but also un-Christian.

The fact of it is the Bible is full of immigrants. Jesus at times was technically an immigrant. You can find countless examples of welcoming foreigners. The Pope has on numerous accounts has spoken in favor of welcoming these displaced individuals.

“I would like to ask you all to see a ray of hope as well in the eyes and hearts of refugees and of those who have been forcibly displaced. A hope that is expressed in expectations for the future, in the desire for friendship, in the wish to participate in the host society also through learning the language, access to employment and the education of children. I admire the courage of those who hope to be able gradually to resume a normal life, waiting for joy and love to return to brighten their existence. We can and must all nourish this hope!”

These people are not trying to hurt you, 99% of these people want the same things you do and that is to have a chance at a better life. They are not here to mooch off of you, but to be safe. To get away from places like the image on the right. Many of the people impacted by these things are children. Countless times over the past year we have seen images of children who were separated from their families, found in rubble, and caught in this mayhem, I will personally challenge anyone who claims to be a Christian who does not believe we should be helping these people, it preposterous to think many people are unwilling to help out our neighbors. These are our neighbors even if they do not have the same religious beliefs, same ideology, and same cultural upbringing. Listen, folks, I am not making up you can read this in the Bible.

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” -Leviticus 19:33-34

When a foreigner resides among us we are commanded not to mistreat them, but love them as ourselves. This is not accomplished by blocking them from entering the nation, nor is it accomplished by building a pointless wall along the southern border. Not only is such legislation putting this nation at risk, but also it’s making us look like giant hypocrites. We can not continue to proclaim “One Nation Under God’ if we do not honor God in our decisions. We can not proclaim to be the land of opportunity or the melting pot if we do not open our doors to immigrants. Now I am not saying freely let the people come to this nation and we should not have controls on this, but this is getting ridiculous. Over the past couple weeks, the strength of the United States has been called into question. Not only are we getting under the skin of our enemies, but our allies as well. Our international relations is dwindling by a thread.

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” –Deuteronomy 10:18-19

God loves the foreigner amongst us. God wants us to help these people. Jesus tells us what we d for the least of these you do for Him.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. -Matthew 25:25-36

This verse here is quintessential Christianity, if you want to live as a Christian this is what you do for others. Jesus taught us our two greatest commandments are to “Love the Lord with all our hearts and all our being” and “to love our neighbor as ourself.” Shunning immigrants, keeping them out, and not helping them is not the approach we should be taking. The actions which are occurring right now not only defies logic, but it defies basic morality and Christians should be outraged by these actions.

Listen I know many people have differences, but differences are what makes this nation great. The whole concept of the melting pot is a blending of various cultures which balance each other. I know many Christians voted for Donald Trump and this is not a post which is guilting you for that decision, but a call to action to do the right thing. The church is constantly being judged right now, and are we going to be the church that triumphs and does the right thing or the one which lays down on the tracks? The answer here is not hidden, its right in front of us. The sad thing is this is not the only issue which Christians need to be standing for either.

“Above all I ask leaders and legislators and the entire international community above all to confront the reality of those who have been displaced by force, with effective projects and new approaches in order to protect their dignity, to improve the quality of their life and to face the challenges that are emerging from modern forms of persecution, oppression and slavery.” –Pope Francis

Folks, this pains me to see this coming within this nation. This is a great nation which is better this and I pray that we unite to do what is right.

Call to Action: Fight Homlessness

blogpic.jpg.png.jpgMy brothers and sisters, the month is now November and this seems like the most effective month to ask for help on this matter. Homelessness is a major issue in this nation, and for those of you who may be weary to help, I am putting up links to the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities. These are two reputable charities that assist the homeless and provide food as well as care to millions of Americans. Now I am not saying these are the only two charities to donate to, but chose them because I like most people can personally vouch for their services. If there is a local charity you would prefer to donate to please do.

“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”

Isiah 58:7

In 2015, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness — meaning they were sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. To put that in perspective that is just short of the population of Milwaukee, WI. If you were to combine the populations of Cleveland, OH, and Cincinnati, OH it would be about the same as well. Now keep in mind as well this is the estimate of people purely living outside or in a shelter. Keep in mind there are still millions of hungry Americans, and families living with family to survive.

“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

-Luke 14:13-14

If we want to live as Christians we have to help the poor, sick, and weary. It’s Christianity 101, and it’s part of our walk with Christ. When we agreed to follow Jesus it was not just a “hey, so now that I believe were good right?” No being as Christian is not a statement its a way of life. Even if you can only donate $1 please do so. If that is not possible go through your belongings and donate old clothing or items you are no longer using. Many charities have drop boxes, for those of you with Goodwill’s and Salvation Army’s in your area contact them if you can not make it many of them have a pick up service.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?”

-Matthew 25:34-40

Below are some more links to pages you can help you fellow man:

Salvation Army

Catholic Charities

National Alliance to End Homelessness

National Coalition for the Homeless

Feeding America