‘Boyz n the Hood’ Are Missing Something

Reflecting on John Singleton’s timeless message after his untimely death this week.

May 1, 2019 Willie Richardson

On Monday, April 29, 2019, John Singleton, American film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for directing “Boyz n the Hood” (1991), died. Straight out of the University of Southern California, Singleton penned the script for the movie at just 21 years old. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming, at age 24, the youngest person to have ever been nominated for that award. This motion picture would go on to gross $57.5 million in North America on a budget of just $6.5 million.

Through Singleton’s eyes, a story is told of an inner city boy growing up in South Central LA without the leadership of his father. Throughout the violent imagery and gang warfare, the clearest theme of the movie was that black fathers need to take the full responsibility of parenting their sons. The 12-year-old boy, Trey, was acting out at school and at home with his single mother. His mother realized she could no longer serve in the capacity as full-time parent and sent him to live with his father. That character was John Singleton as a young child.

Singleton said in a 1991 interview with Oprah Winfrey, “The story of ‘Boyz n the Hood’ is just a catalyst for me when I went to live with my father when I was 12 years old. My father whipped me into shape. He made me mow the lawn and take out the trash; things I never had to do.” He went on to say about the portrayal of his real-life father through actor Lawrence Fishburne, “He was a hardworking brother that cares for his son and cares how his son is raised. We need more brothers that if they’re going to have a child they have to look out for the well-being of their children.”

The true meaning of this film was somewhat lost in translation due to the highly dramatized street culture of the early ‘90s that still exists today. However, the overarching theme of fatherhood in “Boyz n the Hood” remains one of the most powerful and vivid descriptions ever told through screenplay. Singleton understood the dire consequences of the lack of fatherhood, especially within his own community. The first scene in the movie starts with these statistics: “One of every twenty-one Black American males will be murdered in their lifetime. Most will die at the hands of another black male.” He tied fatherlessness to massive violence and he was right.

  • In the 1950s 6% of children were born to fatherless homes and there were zero school mass shootings

  • In the 1960s 8% of children were born to fatherless homes and there was one school mass shooting

  • In the 1970s 10% of children were born to fatherless homes and there were three school mass shootings

  • In the 1980s, 18% of children were born to fatherless homes and there were eight school mass shootings

  • In the 1990s, 21.6% of children were born to fatherless homes and there were 10 school mass shootings

  • In the 2000s, 22.4% of children were born to fatherless homes and there were 11 school mass shootings

  • In the 2010s, 29.4% of children were born to fatherless homes and there have been 16 school mass shootings

The AR-15 has been sold to the public for five decades; semiautomatic weapons have been sold to the public for even longer than that. In 1975, New York State had more than 80 school districts with rifle teams and it was common, once upon a time, for an American child to be sent away to school with a rifle on his back. He would return safely to his home and family. No gun violence, no mass shootings.

Boys are taking on a “tough guise” replacing the balance of being tender and tough guys as gentlemen. Strong fathers give rise to structure, lawful behavior, respect for authority, and self-respect as it relates to their sons. John Singleton’s passing was untimely, but he left a timeless memoir in the movie “Boyz n the Hood.” White and black “boyz” growing up angry, displaced, violent, and discouraged have been provoked by the lack of “hood”

— FATHERHOOD. Make America Father Again!

Original here

VIDEO Resistance is NOT futile – Acts, Faith In Motion

Homer Les August 23, 2019


Chuck Yeager and F-104


October 14 should be a day of tremendous celebration for every single believer who lives a life of uncompromising faith, don’t you agree? Why, you may ask, would we want to mark that day as an anniversary of faith? Great question. On that day in 1947 U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager broke the sound barrier in the famous Bell X-1. Now you may wonder what airplanes and the sound barrier have to do with faith. Plenty. This small, but significant, event is a beautiful visual of how we grow into uncompromising faith.

When mankind first started to fly in the early part of the last century, pilots did not know a sound barrier existed. As planes developed more power and speed, pilots began to discover this mysterious barrier was a problem. They would describe such massive turbulence approaching 760 mph that they felt the plane might disintegrate. Many planes could not handle the stress and the pilots paid with their lives.

Thankfully, intrepid souls saw this resistance as a challenge. They began to build stronger planes that could handle the brutal turbulence. They added jet engines to make the planes go faster and faster. Brave pilots, not knowing if the turbulence ended or not, faced the sound barrier.

Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis

On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager strapped himself into the X-1 and was flown to altitude. His plane dropped and, at a safe distance, he turned on the jets. The little plane faced the the violent turbulence head on. Shaken hard Chuck did not know if the plane would survive. Suddenly, as he passed 767 miles per hour, the buffeting stopped. The plane was still and flying fine. Capt. Yeager had broken through the sound barrier.

Here is a clear picture of the three stages planes travel through in flight.

Below the sound barrier flight is fine with a little resistance but nothing that will destroy a plane. When coming up to the sound barrier the resistance, turbulence and difficulty of flight increases. If the plane and pilot cannot handle the shaking, both will be destroyed. Finally, on the other side of the sound barrier flight stabilizes.

The walk of faith also comprises three distinct parts so when we compare faith to flight we can see the similarities.

Most people live in the first stage of faith. At this level the believer’s faith is weak and faces little resistance. Daily existence gives little acknowledgement to God and even less to trusting Him for our daily sustenance. There is little resistance because they are not resisting satan. In 1 John 2:13-14 John refers to these believers as ‘little children’.

The second stage believer is one who faith has grown to a point where satan begins actively to resist them. Believers, committed to following Jesus in complete obedience, are shaken to test their resolve. John refers to these believers as ‘young men’. Unfortunately, many who face the turbulence of satan turn back out of fear they may lose their lives.

Those that keep pressing through the enemy’s resistance find stability and peace in the third stage. They will have broken though the faith barrier, knowing experientially that the Jesus is with them. No longer does Jesus need to test their faith for they have proven to trust in Him with their very lives. John refers to these people as ‘fathers’ in 1 John 2:13-14.

We have seen the three stages of faith throughout our journey and in Scripture. This is such a prevalent theme that Wanda and I assembled this diagram.

The 3 Stages of Spiritual Maturity

Uncompromising faith is an exciting and scary journey into the unknown with God leading us.

As you grow in faith, the resistance of satan will test your resolve. This is normal and to be expected. God will never leave you as you walk with Him. Though the resistance may be brutal, you can make it to the other side if you don’t quit. Chuck Yeager and pilots of today prove one can break the sound barrier. Abraham, Moses, David, Paul and other faithful believers prove it is possible to break the ‘faith barrier’. May we follow their example, resist the devil and break through to the other side.


Homer and Wanda

Original here

Picture of Chuck Yeager and X-1 http://www.chuckyeager.com/1947-1954-testing-the-limits

Acts, Faith in Motion – Believers in Motion | Pastor Allen Jackson

He Wants Men To Stand With Women On Abortion. Alright, Let’s Do That

Don’t let pro-choicers convince you it’s wrong to speak out. Offer your money, time, community, and resources to mothers who choose life.

Cory Booker Wants Men To Stand With Women On Abortion. Alright, Let’s Do That


May 25, 2019

Presidential contender Cory Booker (D–N.J.) says women need men to stand with them. I couldn’t agree more. His open letter to all men in GQ calls on all of us in the masculine sex “to listen, to speak out, and to take action.” Let’s do it.

Start by watching and listening to an ultrasound. You can find them all over YouTube. It will change your life.

When we were both 21, my young bride suspected God might have blessed our marriage with a new life. She made an appointment, and we went together to the physician. He confirmed what her womanly knowledge had told her: she was nine weeks pregnant. He also immediately prepared an ultrasound and we were able to see our first son, barely the size of a grape, with his vulnerable little heart firing off 153 beats per minute.

I do not have any experience in the baby-carrying portion of pregnancy. I do, however, have plenty of experience at listening to the rapid beat of a human heart that is smaller than the tip of my pinky.

I also have experience with the pain of silence. My wife has conceived six children. The second was never born alive. We sat together at her second ultrasound listening, desperately straining our ears to detect the slightest hint of a heartbeat. There was none, and we wept.

We did not mourn, and we do not continue to mourn, because our dreams were dashed. We mourned for the life that never reached its potential. A human being, a person, died in his mother’s womb. We carry the tragedy of it with us to this day, even after the successful births of four more babies.

I challenge you, men, to listen to and watch an ultrasound of an unborn child. Don’t just hit the play button on YouTube while you perform some menial task. Really focus in on the sight of that fetus grabbing her toes. Listen to the beat of the human heart as it pumps blood through a living person.

Do not talk about abortion until you have done this. But once you have, it is time to speak out. Once you have heard and seen the truth of an ultrasound, there is no keeping silent.

Abortion is often not a topic men like to talk about. I will never have an abortion; I don’t know what that is like. Our lack of experience can make us timid.

Abraham Lincoln and William Wilberforce had no idea what it was like to be a slave. That did not make them timid. Their freedom and the bondage of others made them bold to speak—to declare the evils of slavery openly in the public square.

So it should be with living men today. Open your mouths, not because you have no idea what it is like to be pregnant, but because you know what it is like to live. You know the joy of living, moving, and breathing the free air of this world. Let that make you bold to speak out on behalf of those who might have that knowledge stripped from them by the callousness of an abortion doctor, the timidity of an inexperienced father, or the fear of a young mother.

Then take action. Find a pregnancy clinic that cares for mothers and children, and donate or volunteer. Stand in the bitter cold or scorching heat outside the local abortion facility to let women considering this action know there is hope and there are people willing to help. Don’t just hold a sign, but be ready to give real aid to anyone in need.

Start mentoring the young men you know, especially those who have strained relationships with their fathers. They need a sturdy example to learn what it means to be a man. Show them the meaning of sacrifice, duty, and respect. Help them to see the unspeakable cowardice of abandoning a woman with whom one has conceived a child, or worse, encouraging her to get an abortion and kill the child you helped create.

Be ready to take action that supports pregnant women, especially those who have no network of family, church, or friends. Any father can tell you how difficult a pregnancy (not to mention the ongoing work of raising a child to adulthood) is when a woman has the full support of her husband and their extended families. A woman who finds herself pregnant and alone needs even more help.

Be that help. Recruit the women you know to help with the more sensitive parts of going to the prenatal appointments and dealing with the physical aspects of pregnancy. Volunteer to assemble furniture and toys for the newborn. Provide financially for the needs of mother and child.

Booker has hit the nail on the head. It is time for men to listen, speak, and take action. Do not simply aim for making abortion illegal; make it unthinkable and unnecessary. Work to fashion a world where ending the life of an unborn child is a fossil that, 10,000 years from now, archeologists will look back upon with shame and contempt that their ancestors could have been so brutal.

Joshua Theilen is a husband of one wife, father of five children, and pastor of one Lutheran congregation. He and his family reside in southern Illinois.Photo Martin Kirigua / Pexels.com