Monday, October 31, 2011

Why I hate Halloween

Besides the obvious fact that it is a very wickedly themed holiday, that some way has the power to stir up devilish thoughts in peoples mind. I mean people can go from sweetheart to warlock about as quick as you can blink on Halloween day. They want to find some sort of mischief to get into, whether it be egging cars or toilet tissuing some poor lady's trees or knocking on doors and running just to irritate people, it's always something. It seems people just want to get into trouble on Halloween.

But besides that fact, there is the unimaginable amount of money spent during Halloween time. I read in an article that they sell over 1 billion pounds of candy corn each year (WHAT!) during Halloween. It is the second most lucrative holiday overall each year. So where is all the money going??? On costumes, candy, parties, etc, etc, etc. Nothing which will add one thing to your life. The only thing it will add is a stomach ache and a hangover. So why do it? Because the world says you should?

Heck no! I want no part of it. It is a waste, a waste, a waste I tell yah.

So tell the little ones to stay away from my door. There will be no treats here. If you talk to me, I might tell you, why don't you spend this time studying or exercises or reading a good book, I don't know, basically anything else constructive would do.

You won't catch me wasting my time or money. Trick or treat??? Nah, I'll pass, and you kids should also PASS my door... EVERY YEAR.

jay z and kanye west - No Church in the Wild ft Frank Ocean CLEAN EDIT

Below I have the lyrics to a fairly new song by Jay-Z and Kanye West. I took the liberty of highlighting some key phrases.

(Frank Ocean)Human being to the mobWhat's a mob to a king?What's a king to a god?What's a god to a non-believerWho don't be- lieve in anything?Will he make it out alive?Alright alrightNo church in the wild
(JZ)Tears on the mausoleum floorBlood stains the coli- seum doorsLies on the lips of a priestThanksgiving disguised as a feastRolling in the Rolls Royce CornicheOnly the doctors got thisI'm hiding from policeCocaine seatsAll white like I got the whole thing bleachedDrug dealer chicI'm wondering if a thug's prayers reachIs Pious pious cause God loves pious?Socrates asked whose bias do yall seekAll for Plato, screechI'm out here balling, I know yall hear my sneaksJesus was a carpenter, Yeezy laid beatsHova flow the Holy Ghost (my comments: Are you serious Jay-z, why go there. Are you comparing yourself to the Holy Spirit and Yeezy, which is Kanye West to Jesus) Get the hell up out your seatsPreach
(Frank Ocean)Human being to the mobWhat's a mob to a king?What's a king to a god?What's a god to a non-believerWho don't believe in anything?Will he make it out alive?[ From: ]Alright alrightNo church in the wild
(The-Dream)I live by you, desireI stand by you, walk through the fireYour love is my scriptureLet me into your encryption
(KW)Coke on her black skin make a stripe like a zebraI call that jungle feverYou will not control the three-someJust roll the weed up until I get me someWe formed a new religionNo sins as long as there's permission (Kanye West, are you serious... You made a song called Jesus walks and now you've formed a new religion) This garbage is not funny, it's disgusting. And deception is the only felonySo never f**k nobody without telling me
Sunglasses and AdvilLast night was ma rillSome come in at 5 A.MI wonder if they got cabs stillThinking about the girl in all leopardWho was rubbing the wood like Kiki ShepherdTwo tattoos one read No Apologies, the other said Love Is Cursed By MonogamyIt's somethin' that the pastor don't preach my comments: ("Love is cursed by monogamy") So love is cursed by monogamy, why go there. If you guys want to sleep with all kinds of girls, then go ahead, but it's stupid to teach the youth to do that.It's somethin' thata teacher can't teachWhen we die the money we can't keep, but we probably spend it all cuz the pain ain't cheap ...Preach

I'm really sick and tired of these rappers, sports stars and actors, and influential people period, injecting such a negative message to our youth. I don't care if you are christian or not. I am, though I am not a religious person.But you don't need to be a christian to understand what I am saying. It's a matter of morals. At least christianity teaches good morals, and we should all want our children living by good morals. To say "love is cursed by monogamy" is waaaayyyy tooooo far. So marriage is bad? So having sex with only one person is bad? So putting yourself at risk of disease is good? Leaving bastard children all around the world is good?

Come on! You youth who support these corrupt songs, and just bob your head to it, are very lost. These guys are teaching RIDICULOUS things and people are just accepting it.

This is not a post to christian people. It is a post to smart people. This garbage is killing the minds of the youth. Wake up.

You can listen to the song below, is you think I twisted up any of the lyrics. But the title itself speaks for itself.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What I learned in Chicago schools.

I have been to New York doing book signings, I have been to Houston, to Philly, and have have come in contact with different people. But Chicago was a different experience.

In Chicago the gang culture is a way of life. Whether you are in one or not, you live surrounded by it. And not only that. On the streets it is life or death everyday. You can live on the same block and not be able to go to the park across the street because that is a different territory and someone who knows you live on the other side may shoot you. I have always known that Chicago was a pretty wild city and that gang life up there is pretty tough. I had plenty home boys who were from there and told me about it. But what I didn't know was how close the gangs were to each other. I was astonished to see the heaviness that you see in the eyes of the people, especially the youth. Those who live in the rough areas have seen a lot. I know every city has it's problems. But I'm not talking about every city right now, I'm talking about Chicago Illinois.

Anyway, when I went to the schools there, I must admit I was a little nervous that they would not want to hear what I had to say, even though I was in a gang before, because I wasn't in a gang from Chicago. And as well, I remembered my experience in Philly, how it took about 5-10mins to calm the students down and get them to listen, because they were so rowdy. So I figured if Philly was so bad, how will Chicago be? By the way, in Philly the biggest crown I spoke to was 300 students at once. in Chicago, the first crowd I spoke to was over 500, and the second school (one of the worst in the whole city) had a crowd of 750 students, but get this, ONLY BOYS. Imagine, a crowd or 750 boys, with more than half of them gang bangers, in a school that they have to have a police station inside of. This was a little overwhelming.

But I quickly remembered what I was there for... To help them.
So I figured I had to "go hard, or go home". So I went straight at them with the truth. With the facts.

And to my surprise, these students got quiet and listened from the moment I opened my mouth. They were not like the students in Philly who only laughed and talked for 5 to 10 minutes before finally hearing something that was strong enough to quiet them down. These students listened. And you could see the pain in their eyes. At one school in the middle of the assembly a student stood up and shouted that just two weeks ago his cousin got murdered and his father got deported back to Mexico for being a gang banger. Imagine, cousin murdered and father A GANG BANGER TOO. This is wild.

So what I learned is that sometimes it's the ones who are the "roughest" who will listen to most. It is the ones who society has written off, who are thirsty for someone to take the time to listen to them or try to get threw to them. I am not an idiot to think that all of them will leave and be reformed young men and women. But I am absolutely sure someone listened, someone heard, and someone will THINK about where they are going with their life. And if just one gets it, then it was worth the trip.

My perception of Chicago, was a city that is hurting. The youth are living in a war zone and need help. I am so happy to have had a chance to see it for myself.

I may write a part two to this blog to express more of my experience there. Keep an eye on the website and YPG page for pictures of this great event. We reached out to nearly 2000 students in two days. This is a big step forward for the youth group here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lion and the Gazelle- A well known story with a lot of sense

Every morning in Africa, A gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion
or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must out run the slowest gazelle
or it will starve to death.
It does not matter whether you are a lion or gazelle,
when the sun comes up you had better start running...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oh, how I wish I could cheat...

Ok, first off, let's make something clear. When I say "how I wish I could cheat", I am NOT talking about cheating on my wife.

So now that we've gotten that cleared away, let me tell you what I am talking about. I will just come out with what many don't have the courage to say. Sometimes you wish you could cut some corners and do things the faster, easier way. For example, if you want to lose weight, would you rather spend hours in the gym and on top of that have to sacrifice delicious foods that you love? Or would you like to take some miracle pill that promises to help you drop 10 pounds or more in one week (albeit destroying your body too, but that's not the point) without any exercise or change or diet? Of course you would rather the quick way! Even though the quick way is not always best.

So that is what I mean. Sometimes I wish there was a quicker way to do things. I wish there was a faster way to get to the goal. I wish I could even cut some corners to make things happen. But I can't, and I won't.

That is just a decision that I have made. I will not cut corners and I will not cheat. The hard, painful, and even sometimes longer way is the more certain and longer lasting way. I prefer to feel the pain for a while, then to enjoy the victory that has been achieved with cheating.

But I must admit, it is hard. Our heart plays tricks on us and says you can find a faster way to do this, you can say this instead of that and avoid problems, you can hold back this and have a little more for yourself, you know you do have a choice... And the list goes on and on. That's why we can't live by what we feel, we must think and then act. We must make firm decisions that are right and good, even if they hurt, and stick to them.

So no matter how much I want to cheat sometimes, I will not. And you should not. Don't cut corners, the hard road is the most rewarding.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What else can I do? (I'm frustrated)

Some days are better than others, I must admit.

There are days when you get up and feel ready to face the world. But there are also days when you don't want to be bothered, even by those closest to you. Maybe you had a rough week, or a rough month, or even a rough year? I don't know. But what I do know is that I have those days too. I have those days when I feel plain frustrated.

Maybe I have been trying to do something and still haven't achieved it, or maybe someone made a promise and didn't come through, or maybe I promised someone or myself to do something and remembered that I didn't keep it. Whatever the reason, I have days just like everyone else does, that I just need some time to breath. Days when I need to think and sort myself out. There are times when life starts to weigh heavily on us and we need to regroup.

Unfortunately, we can not just disappear to an island for two or three days. That only happens in the movies and in the life of rich people. But for most of us average people that is not an option (not that it really helps anyway). But we do have other options. We can take a walk and think or pray or sit in silence or maybe even talk to someone who we can trust to give good quality advice. But we do have options. We can not expect everyday to be great. We can not expect every person to do what they are supposed to. We can not expect ourselves to always get it right. But we can deal with life as it comes. Learn from the mistakes we make, and also from the shortcomings of others. But don't stay down in that funk for long, because that is just plain unhealthy. You have to learn to shake it off and get back into stride.

There is far too much ahead to focus on the past. And it is only the past mistakes, failures, disappointments, or else fear of the future that makes us frustrated. So either one of these are not good. We can only change today, and believe that that will help us fix tomorrow. You can only solve your problems one step at a time.

So take some advice from the wise, "live each day like it's your last, because one day it will be." Shake off the frustration and LIVE. Today is what you make it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How I Learned to Steal.

I remember it like yesterday.

I was about 4 or 5 years old, and I went to a drug store with my mom. I don't mean an illegal drug dealer, I mean a place like CVS or Walgreens. This was in Florida and the name of the store was Eckerds Pharmacy. Well anyway, I remember we walked through the store for a while, looking for whatever it was that my mom wanted, and eventually ended up at the counter with who-knows-what in her hand.

All I know is that when I got to the counter, I saw a pack of grape Bubblicious gum, just staring me in the face and saying "you've gotta have me". So I did what most kids would, I asked my mom to buy it for me. Now, for whatever reason, she decided not to, and I was not very happy with that. So there I was stuck in a dilemma. Do I accept what she said, or do I just take it. Now this day was a rainy one and so I had on a rain coat and funny enough a bright yellow rain hat (just like the cute rain suit the kid in the picture has). And do you know what I did??? I simply lifted up the hat and stuck the pack of gum under the hat on my head and walked out with my mom as if nothing happened.

Later that day, when my mom went to the kitchen to cook, I took out my bubble gum and with all the joy in my heart, pealed back the wrapper and stuffed my mouth with not one but two pieces of grape Bubblicious. Oh yeah, I thought it was a little piece of heaven, until my mom walked in the room. When she walked in, I immediately stopped chewing, hoping to hide it from her. But little did I know she could smell it (that's the funny thing about kids, they think they are so smart and sometimes they are so obvious)! Now if you grew up in my time, then you know what comes next...

She screamed at the top of her lungs, "where did you get that"!!!!! Didn't I tell you no! You stole it! YOOOOUUU SSSTTTOOOLLLLEEE IIITTT!!!!!!!

Then next up came the belt. Well, first she made me spite it out, then she grabbed the belt and gave me the spanking of a lifetime. I couldn't sit on my butt for hours. And worst then that, she made me go back to the store and admit that I stole and give it back (as if they could re-sell it after it was opened). That day I learned that there are consequences to doing wrong. Even though I did it many other times after that, I knew there were consequences.

But the moral or this story is not just about consequences. There's a question to be answered. Who taught me to do that? Who told me to steal? NO ONE. It automatically came into my mind when I wanted something and couldn't have it. Isn't it funny, how we naturally learn to do bad, but it seems so hard to develop good habits? Isn't it funny how it's cool to talk about drugs, sex and fighting, but it's lame to talk about wanting to graduate or how exciting it was do complete your homework early or the desire to go to a church, or how you respect your parents so much? It seems that what is bad is born in us, but we have to nearly kill ourselves to develop good habits in us. This is a reality that we must face. We are much more attracted to what is not good for us, then we are to what is good for us.

So what we need to do is, stop acting on impulse and start thinking about whether what we are doing is good or not. And do what is right, even if it hurts. Because it is better to feel the pain that you inflict on yourself through making hard choices, then to feel the pain of discipline after you have done wrong.

Take it from me... my butt still burns when I think about that spanking