Tag Archives: pride

Who are You?

I found a note that I left myself in my backpack. It’s a great reminder:

Never stop being who you prided yourself on becoming.

I wasn’t in a very good mood last year. Joy just wasn’t there and hope wasn’t my outlook. And I wrote that to remind myself that no matter what things look like, who I am isn’t supposed to change, unless it’s for the better.

I was happy to be an encourager. I was happy to be a giver. Yet, it seemed that it was hard to be those things when life wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. I had prided myself on being those things, and now I didn’t feel like being that anymore.

When did being what God chose me to be get to become optional based on how I felt? Never, right?

When I read that note today, it made me smile. It’s easier to smile when things are going good. It’s also easier to take things for granted too. Today, I was reminded that whether things are good or bad, I am who God created me to be. And if there’s an encourager, then I am to be that no matter what the circumstances are.

Who have you prided yourself on becoming? Is that person still there?


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Lessons from Zacchaeus: Lost and Found


Luke 19:1-10

1Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. 

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. 

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” 

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” 


I love the story of Zacchaeus. I love the lessons in it. The truth that if you want God to change your life, He can, and will. Zacchaeus knew what he was. He knew what people thought about him. But he wanted Jesus. He wanted to change. So how does he teach us to do that? 

  • Lesson 1: Want to see Jesus, no matter what it takes. (v. 3) 
  • Lesson 2: Put your pride aside. It would have to be a humbling experience to be so small that you have to climb a tree to see. (v. 4) 
  • Lesson 3: Accept His invitation and answer His call. Jesus calls to us, but few answer. Be willing to accept and answer. (v. 5) 
  • Lesson 4: Meet Him with excitement and joy. This is your Savior! Be excited about Him, be excited about salvation! (v. 6) 
  • Lesson 5: Let Him find you and change you. He can. (v. 8, 10) 

So there you have it, five simple lessons from Zacchaeus. They worked for him, I’m sure they can work for us too. Zacchaeus was lost, until he found the Jesus that had been looking for him. 

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Matthew 7: 3-5 (NLT)

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Christianity is not a spectator’s sport. It’s almost like we treat it as a way to justify watching and pointing at people and their sins.  

Now, I’m not saying we should have a blind eye to sin. As Christians, we are to speak the truth in love and recognize sin for what it is, sin. The issue lies in my blind eye to my own sin. If I’m so busy telling you what you do wrong, it doesn’t leave much time for me to see my own faults. 

In doing so, I’ve lessened my sins and focused on yours. Instead of seeing you as a brother/sister in need of truth and love, I’ve turned you into a spectacle.  

The more I maximize your speck, the more likely I am to increase my log. So, what would cause all of this? Pride. And I believe we don’t need any more people who sit around and pridefully watch wrongs. And we certainly don’t need any more that refuse to see their own wrongs. 

In essence, pride see what you’ve done as worse than what I’ve done. It seeks to compare and to judge. Pride is the very log that sees the speck as being the problem. 

In fact, pride refuses to realize that it’s easier to remove a speck than it is to remove a log. Pride is the spectator that makes a spectacle of your sin. 


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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Leader

Leader – the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There really is nothing I can tell you about him that you don’t already know. He was a wonderful leader, activist, trailblazer, freedom fighter, and so much more.

Have you read his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail?” Talk about brilliant. It will move you to tears. It is one of the most well-written, articulate things I’ve ever read. Which, from a man who graduated at 15, and went on to receive his doctorate, what else would we expect?

It is said that between 1957-1968, he traveled over six million miles, spoke over 2500 times, was present wherever there was injustice and protest, and wrote five books and numerous articles in the meantime.

In all that greatness, how can a man be arrested over 20 times and assaulted at least four times in his life and still manage all these things? He can be one of the greatest advocates for peace and equality. He directed the peaceful March on Washington with 250,000 people where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream Speech.”

At the age of 35, Dr. King became the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When he found out he said he would turn over the prize money to the civil rights movement.

Dr. King was a leader, for peace and equality, and for the people. We still hope to see the reality of his dream continue to develop more and more in our society. Dream big.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others? – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Daniel Hale Williams – Pioneer

Pioneer – one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress

Daniel Hale Williams was born in 1856, and was one of the first physicians to perform open heart surgery in the United States. He also founded Provident Hospital in 1893, making it the first medical facility with an interracial staff.

After working as a shoemaker’s apprentice and barber, like his father, he decided he wanted to pursue his education. Eventually, he worked as an apprentice to Dr. Henry Palmer and completed his training at Chicago Medical College.

Williams set up his own practice in the South Side of Chicago and became the first African American physician to work for the city’s street railway system. Due to discrimination, blacks were still not being admitted to hospitals and black doctors were unable to have a staff position. Provident Hospital was founded by Dr. Williams in an effort against racial discrimination, and was praised by Frederick Douglass.

In 1893, Williams made history when, without the benefits we have of modern medicine and surgical procedures, he successfully operated on James Cornish, a man with a severe stab wound to his chest. In 1894, Williams was appointed chief surgeon of the Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. It provided care for formerly enslaved African Americans. And in 1895, he co-founded the National Medical Association, a professional organization for black medical practitioners, since the American Medical Association didn’t allow African-American membership.

Dr. Williams, we thank you for everything you have done. We have reached newer heights in medicine in large part to your necessary contribution. Thank you for being a pioneer in your field, and paving the way for so many others.

A people who don’t make provision for their sick and suffering are not worthy of civilization. – Daniel Hale Williams




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Ella Fitzgerald – Jazzy

Jazzy – of, resembling, or in the style of jazz; bright, colorful, and showy.

Ella Fitzgerald, an American jazz and song vocalist, is known as the “First Lady of Song.” Ella endured a troubled childhood, and after her mother died ended up moving in with an aunt. After skipping school, and leaving her reform school, Ella was on her own in 1934 still believing she could become an entertainer. She entered an amateur contest at Harlem’s Apollo Theater and ended up winning first place.

From that moment, Ella’s career started taking off. She eventually began playing regularly at one of the hottest clubs in Harlem and recorded “Love and Kisses” with Chick Webb in 1935. By 1938, Ella put out her two hits “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” which she co-wrote and “I Found My Yellow Basket.”

“Lady Ella” became known for her ability to mimic instrumental sounds and she made popular “scatting” (vocal improv), which became her signature. Fitzgerald picked up her first two Grammys in 1958, the year of the very first Grammys. This made her the first African-American woman to win the award. She won for best individual jazz performance and best female vocal performance.

Ella Fitzgerald never let go of her dream to be an entertainer. Today, we celebrate her for influencing so many musicians, both past and present. I’m reminding by her to be jazzy!

It isn’t where you came from, its where you’re going that counts. – Ella Fitzgerald

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Ray Charles – Progressive

imageProgressive – used for describing music that tries new or unusual ideas

Ray Charles Robinson was born September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia. He is considered a pioneer of soul music, integrating R&B, gospel, and country to create hits. He is easily considered one of the greatest artists of all time.

Ray Charles went blind by the age of 7, after witnessing his brother drowning to death, he gradually began losing his sight. His mother sent him to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. Eventually, he learned to read, write, and arrange music in braille. He also learned to play the piano, organ, saxophone, clarinet, and trumpet.

In 1961, Charles was set to perform at Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Georgia but cancelled the show after learning from students at Paine College (a historically black college) that the auditorium would be segregated. He was sued for breach of contract by the promoter, but later performed at a desegregated Bell Auditorium concert.

In 1979, Ray Charles was one of the first musicians born in the state to be inducted into the Georgia State Music Hall of Fame. His version of “Georgia on My Mind” has been made the official state song for Georgia.

“My version of ‘Georgia’ became the state song of Georgia. That was a big thing for me, man. It really touched me. Here is a state that used to lynch people like me suddenly declaring my version of a song as its state song. That is touching.” – Ray Charles
“I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.” – Ray Charles

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