A Great American

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Today my son worked his first day at a "real" job. He's done a lot of yard mowing and house sitting, but today at 16 years of age he started working at the Chick Fillet in our local mall.

The thing I'm proud of is his initiative. I wasn't telling him to get a job for the summer, but he wants to buy an electric guitar. He knew we weren't going to shell out that kind of dough, so he simply went out and got a job. One of his youth leaders brought him to the attention of some of our less ambitious kids, and pointed out how my son had a job in a week, while others had been "looking" (sort of) for a month.

Here are his steps to success:

1. Put God first. One pitfall of a job is the time it takes from church and at certain times of the year, school. Following our advice he applied to two Christian owned businesses that are closed on Sunday: Hobby Lobby and Chick Fillet. He found Hobby Lobby doesn't hire anyone under 18, but Chick Fillet picked him right up.

BTW, the owner of Hobby Lobby says he loses $100 million in sales every Sunday, but God has still blessed him to where he's a multi-millionare.

As an aside you can bet the boy tithes. That's one way you keep God's blessing on your life. He experienced his first blessing when his boss told him he could not only have Sunday's off, but his 2nd day off during the week could be Wednesday, which is church night. But wait, there's more! His boss told him anytime he wanted time off for a family vacation or church activity he could have it. I'm not sure he'll want to take it though since that would cut into his wallet. Last blessing: I told him one trap kids fall into is eating out all the time. He was surprised to learn he gets a free lunch each day.

2. Attitude translates to action.

- He realized he wouldn't get his guitar handed to him on a silver platter. He'd have to do something as opposed to whining about how the world owes him something.

- He was looking shaggy, so on the day of his interview he got a haircut. Reminds me of the song "Get a Haircut, and Get a Real Job." You need to play by the rules, and the rules state "those who don't look like slobs have an advantage."

3. He's willing to start at the bottom. He spent the day sweeping up and taking out trash for minimum wage...and was happy about it.

This is America folks. Initiative, right priorities, attitude, action. In other words, taking what you have and making it happen.

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2004


Yet another useless, pointless self serving post.

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2004

The point is: Take a lesson from a fine young man and a great American. Bill Cosby recognized a problem in this country and spoke out against it. He'd be proud of my son.

Don't lay around and wish you had something, go get it. Don't whine about how you're owed something, make it happen. Don't worry about what you don't have, use what you do and work your way up. Don't focus on the advantages others have, use whatever slim advantages you have or can get. Ronald Reagan stood for this type of America, and we loved him for it in spite of his imperfections.

I think one thing that helped my son is the home schooling he had between 2nd grade and high school. It was a sacrifice. Mom had to stay home and teach him, but we did it for one purpose: To instill our values, not those of some liberal teacher. Last year he came home from school one day and informed us he didn't think like the other kids. He just sees the world differently, and he chalks it up to home schooling.

Of course not everyone can or should home school, but the point is do what's necessary to give a kid some decent values. Don't assume they'll pick them up elsewhere. That'll take sacrifice, and that's very American.

When I was a senior in high school my dad told me I had two choices: 1. College in whatever school my grades and his paycheck could get me into. I wouldn't change majors two and three times, dragging out the process, and I wouldn't work a job that would take time from school. School would be my entire life, and I would get in and out in four years because he was paying for it. Post- graduate studies would be on me if I wanted them.

2. Leave home. I wouldn't be a 22 year old living at home, working a dead end job that couldn't support me.

I went to Cal State U Sacramento for two years and hated it, mostly because many of my teachers were socialists and flaming liberals. I wanted to leave, but knew I needed a plan because my dad had laid down the law. My next step was my Air Force recruiter's office, and it turned into a 21 year career with many great experiences and a good living.

Lesson learned: When my son is a senior he's getting the same two choices presented to him - full-time college or goodbye. What's the plan Junior?

This country works. My parents raised three kids, and my wife's parents raised three kids. Between the six of us none went to jail, none got pregnant out of wedlock (to my knowlege all were virgins at the time of their marriages), all completed high school, and all except me completed college. All today are still married to their first spouse, raising good kids, and active in their churches.

Are the people on this board raising up great Americans?

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2004

Brother RP,

Your comments are generally cogent and thought provolking. This most recent response leaves me curious though. Other than race (and I am assuming that you are of European descent) you and I have a great deal in common, as I'm sure is the case with many on this board. My curiosity is aroused by what I perceive as a kind of condescension that I wouldn't otherwise expect from the enlightened, thinking, and compassionate Spirit.

You mentioned Bill Cosby's recognition of a problem in this country. You talked about 'people thinking they are owed something,' and admonished the lazy to not 'lay around and wish you had something.' You ended the post with a description of your family's blessing and closed with the question 'Are the people on this board raising up great Americans?

This line of reasoning betrays a kind of predisposition that Black folks find particularly offensive. It rings of the generalizations and sterotypes concocted by the majority culture to explain the condition of black peoples (and poor people) as being self inflicted rather than resulting from the institutional racism and classism that has contributed so much and so continuously to their plight. Bill Cosby's 'problem' was not in what he saw, but was rather in what he said. His error is one routinely made by the wealthy and affluent. Classism.

Lazy - thinks the world owes, be content with what you have and work with it - this is the language of racism and rest assured that those who have heard it as long as black folks have, recognize it for what it is - even if those who speak the language fluently - don't know what they're saying. You strike me as a thoughtful person, but seem surprised when you receive angry responses from some on this board. Hopefully this helps. Peace.

In Love, In Christ,

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2004

Bro Ron,

Please don't think my comments are directed at black people. They are directed at all people. The shiftless and whiners can be found among the rich and poor of all races around the world. They are not great Americans, or English, or Indians, or Japanese...

The purpose of these posts is to note how a person can make it in this great nation, and to exhort those who fit the shoe to wear it and make a life change. If anyone gets mad it may be because they fit the description of the guilty (my pastor says the only ones offended by a sermon on tithing are non-tithers, ha ha). Some may go a step further and hide behind their race as an excuse.

Unfortunately many on this board will still believe my comments are directed soley at black people regardless of a denial on my part. They have a picture in their mind that cannot be changed regardless of what I say. That's sad, but I don't worry about them. There are also those who will look beyond preconceived notions of me and think about what is said. Some shiftless whiney white guy in New Zealand may get a haircut and a real job as a result. That'll make him a great New Zealander.

I write off angry responses as persecution similar to what the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles received. I count myself blessed to suffer, however slightly for Him. Remember I was called the devil just the other day. Words are like seeds. They only take root if we receive and retain them. I receive the good seed, and reject the bad.

Let me share one other child raising quality that's all too rare today: Accountability. During spring break our youth group went skiing in Colorado. My son and another boy had an attack of brain lock and decided it would be fun to pour laundry detergeant into the hotel hot tub. The hotel had to drain the tub and have it cleaned at a cost of $35 which our church paid.

The youth pastor said not to worry about the $35, but I didn't like the fact my son cost the church money. At the same time I wasn't going to pay it, and the boy didn't have that much money. I asked my pastor to hook him up with the janitor and have him put in half of $35 worth of work, preferrably scrubbing toilets. To my knowlege the other boy got no punishment.

So...are the readers of this board, of all races (sheesh) raising up great Americans by holding their kids accountable when they mess up?

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2004

Good try Ron. But RP's racism is so ingrown he can't help it. He is nothing more than a racist pure and simple. Nothing more.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2004

Oh yeah, on Bill Cosby. His focus was on the disadvantantages people put on themselves. No one who talks like the people he noted will have an advantage in competition for a job...unless they're signing up to be rappers. You not only need a haircut, you need to be perceived as literate.

On the pound cake statement, he was wondering where the accountability was. Why was the kid stealing pound cake? No one asks the question.

Too many people have blamed poverty on others when at least some of it involves learning how to speak like a literate person. Some of the rest involves good raising including accountability. He got into trouble because he exposed it in the black community, though it occurs everywhere. He broke the "blame it on racism" rule, which is holy writ.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2004

To everyone aside from RP

How much more of this self serving drivel are you going to stand for? In his last post, he even suggests that it may be okay to shoot a black youth for pound cake.

Notice point number 3 of the initial post he makes a big deal about his teenaged son starting at the bottom of a fast food restaurant. For this racist this is an A-HA moment. How many of you can testify about an adult who swept trash for 30 years or more, and never got beyond that? Not because he or she was not a good worker, or continually tardy but simply because he or she was simply overlooked by a society that says it is okay to ignore black people.

I certainly do not think that every black person is operating at the maximum when it comes to the utilization of their skills, but I am highly offended when a white racist posts on a board of a black denomination that WE should strive to be like his boy.

Notice in another post in this thread where he accuses those who cry out against injustice as shiftless and lazy. I guess he believes he gets his license from Bill Cosby and even his remarks were over the top but at least he is in the struggle, he knows that racism is alive and while it is not a total deal breaker, it does live on.

We cannot allow this great nation to sweep racism under the rug when there is no doubt it exists and it serves as a barrier to the advancement of black people in a number of ways.

RP's posts often remind me of the Pharisee in the public square proclaiming he is not like those. Remember he received his own reward.

You know I wonder if there is a forum like this for the AG's? Oh of course not, because as RP has told us in the past, there is no questioning of doctrine there for you will be excommunicated.

That's great thing about being AME, I am saved and I have a right to speak my peace. Thank you Lord for blessing me.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2004

I really do not think this point has to be argued any further. Think about it Brother Gibson. You are on a website available under your own vine and fig tree as a result of a church the Lord has allowed to be in existence since 1787, and prayerfully will be in existed for another 200 years. It is the result of a slave who through the grace of God purchased his freedom, and gave a greatly indebted owner an extra measure to cover his debts. This slave educated his children and sent them to Hispaniola as they spoke three languages. Today, our debate on another question is the spending of approximately $20 million dollars. RP comes to you under your vine and your fig tree and asks if you are creating a great american. The question has already been answered. Enjoy the posts for what they are.

I view them as a look into the psyche of a certain part of an American class that I often choose not to have contact with. If anything he educates me to their thinking and so I learn a little more.

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2004

Well, I for one, commend RP and son, first, for looking for a Christian-owned business, and especially one that was closed on Sunday. Working on Sundays take many of our young folks out of church, and not a few adults as well.

I quit my first job (a part time position) because the owner was going to start requiring my working all day on Sunday. Before her husband died and she took over the operation (a car wash - I was the cashier), I worked from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. allowing me to attend church pretty much on time as the church was only a block away. I then got my first full time job with more pay and benefits [ and led to a career with the company] only two weeks later.

RP, by the way, you should get the company's name correct: I believe it is Chick-Fil-A, if it is the nationally franchised company.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004

Thanks Bro Clark. I rarely go to the mall, and forget how it's spelled. You make a good point about working on Sunday's. I've been in churches where the Sunday evening service was larger than the Sunday morning because so many had to work that day. They'd come to church after work on Sunday.

In pursuing God's course for our lives schedules can become as big a blockage as sin and unbelief. Just as we have to deal with those, we have to ask God to deal with our schedules. I've seen Him make a way for those willing to make the change.

-- Anonymous, June 13, 2004

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