A Father's Heart

Saving Our Young Men from Violence

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: AFH

Program Code: AFH000021A

00:01 A good father takes time to play.
00:05 He has strong integrity.
00:08 He is someone that is truly dedicated.
00:12 He is not afraid to show his love.
00:15 He is a caring provider.
00:19 And he is a kind spiritual leader.
00:23 These are just a few ways to describe a father's heart.
00:31 Hi, welcome to A Father's Heart.
00:33 I'm your host, Xavier.
00:34 And today, we're gonna be discussing
00:36 how to save our young men from violence,
00:38 you know, in a society that we live in nowadays,
00:40 it seems like all our youth are out there
00:42 killing each other.
00:43 And you know, we need to find out as fathers
00:45 what we can do to help this to stop.
00:49 And with me to discuss that are my friends
00:52 Gordon and Paul.
00:53 How are you guys today?
00:54 We're doing good. Blessed, man.
00:56 Good to be here. Awesome.
00:57 So culturally, ethnically,
01:00 in every kind of aspect you look at it,
01:02 we have our young men just killing each other.
01:05 What can we do as fathers to prevent this?
01:08 You know, obviously it might not stop because of sin,
01:10 but at least what can we do to help?
01:13 I think it starts with observing our current culture.
01:17 My earlier years, '70s, '80s, '90s
01:20 when I was on the street,
01:22 it seemed more something related to the urban community,
01:25 and especially communities of poverty.
01:28 And there was, somewhat, an ethnic divide in a sense,
01:31 you know, for Afro-Americans, more Latinos,
01:36 people who are in communities of poverty.
01:38 Now it's far more pervasive. It's become a culture.
01:42 Its music, it's in many different forms of media.
01:45 And it's actually hip to be violent.
01:48 It's not just a group of people
01:50 that are reacting or being violent
01:52 because of a need of survival.
01:54 So we have to address the culture itself
01:58 even as it pertains to our home environment
02:01 with our children, especially our sons,
02:04 what they're seeing and what they're learning
02:06 from that cultural violence,
02:07 in terms of how it helps them to find themselves as men,
02:11 and how it reinforces their sense of security in society.
02:14 There's a lot that I can share about
02:16 where I fail as a teenager, and what I misunderstood,
02:20 that drew me more and more and more
02:22 into this lifestyle of violence.
02:25 I tell you, when I started pastoring in Chicago,
02:29 it was quite eye opener for me, talking about the music
02:33 which I believe contribute a lot to it.
02:37 Realizing that the music
02:38 that the young folks were listening to,
02:41 it was so toxic.
02:42 Basically, we had a huge...
02:44 One Sabbath afternoon, we did this program,
02:47 and we literally buried all of their stuff,
02:51 the CDs that they brought, the music that they brought.
02:55 I mean, what they were listening to was,
02:58 you know, this violent music,
03:00 it really pushes down my belief
03:02 to this attitude, this behavior of violence.
03:06 So I do believe that
03:08 the music plays a very important role in it.
03:11 I also believe at least for where...
03:14 In my demographics, in my community that I pastor,
03:17 it's a fact that they need food,
03:21 there's a lack in the home
03:23 where the parent is not parent, and the father is not there.
03:27 They've been raised by single mothers,
03:28 and the single mothers are working.
03:31 And so these young kids are home by themselves.
03:34 And then they get into the gangs
03:37 that are on the street.
03:39 And it's because there's a lack of parental guidance,
03:43 that's one of the big things that I find that is propelling
03:47 and it's pushing this violence from our young people.
03:51 Some of them, they economically,
03:53 there's no food in the home.
03:56 You know, so they go out and they steal and they rob.
03:59 There's a saying that says, you know, we just got to bite.
04:02 Simply meaning that they're gonna eat,
04:03 and they don't care what they have to do to eat.
04:06 I have, you know, been to a lot of funerals,
04:09 I funeralize a lot of them,
04:11 and I'm just really sick of what's happening
04:14 but the issue is parents,
04:17 the parents have lost control in the homes.
04:21 You know, that is a great point
04:23 'cause I see that in our churches,
04:25 it seems like nowadays, send our kids
04:29 or people send their kids to church or to school
04:32 to learn about God,
04:34 and the parents just kind of leave it up
04:36 to the pastors to do it, you know.
04:38 And I have a problem with that,
04:40 because the Bible doesn't say that.
04:42 The Bible doesn't say,
04:43 send your kids off to church and church school,
04:46 and go ahead, and they do all the work.
04:48 You got to do the work too, so I agree with that, you know.
04:51 But what are some of the other things
04:53 such as mentorship, you know?
04:54 For example, I've mentored a lot of kids.
04:57 I remember a group of kids
04:59 that I was talking to in a high school,
05:01 and just helping them with their homework.
05:03 And one young man, African-American said to me,
05:06 you know, "I don't want to do this college thing,
05:08 because I can go to jail in California,
05:12 and get three square meals a day,
05:14 and play hoops, and lift weights."
05:17 And all of us kind of looked at him.
05:19 I looked at him like,
05:21 "Well, you sound like you need a whipping.
05:23 You got no sense, none.
05:25 I'm gonna need you to go find that sense."
05:28 But obviously I didn't say that but internally I'm like,
05:31 I wonder what he's lacking at home.
05:34 You know, what can we do as men,
05:37 obviously at leadership roles,
05:38 but as well as lay members, as a church, man, as a church
05:43 'cause church is not a building,
05:45 it's a way of life.
05:47 What can we do to help our young men?
05:49 Sure.
05:51 It starts with ensuring that
05:54 you have a home environment that's structured.
05:56 So I think for those of us here,
05:58 and most of our religious peer,
06:02 we may not be facing the same exact challenge
06:04 because we are responsible and accountable fathers
06:07 in our home,
06:08 maintaining the type of structure
06:10 and the type of relationship
06:11 that will more than likely
06:12 provide the correct nurture for our sons or our daughters
06:16 so that they make the right choices.
06:18 And most of us have now been removed from that environment.
06:21 So for those of us that are still there
06:23 and for those of us that don't have that type of structure,
06:26 it helps for us to start with understanding scientifically
06:30 what we're dealing with.
06:31 So I'm gonna try to break this down for you
06:33 a little bit from even my own experience,
06:36 professionally as well as what I lived
06:38 as an at risk teen.
06:40 So it starts with status, it starts with status.
06:44 There are varied groups in the street
06:48 that subscribe to violence and that type of lifestyle.
06:51 The minority are those who are doing it
06:55 because they actually see no other choice.
06:58 And I had friends like that.
06:59 Say, within the particular group I was running with,
07:02 just say any number of five or six kids, right?
07:04 And there, we got a little gang,
07:06 and we're gang banging or whatever have you.
07:08 There may be one or two of us within the group who don't know
07:13 where they're sleeping the next night,
07:14 they're from house to house.
07:16 They don't know
07:17 what type of meal they're getting,
07:18 they didn't know
07:20 when they would get their next set of clothing.
07:22 So for them, it was an actual effort to survive.
07:28 And so when we ran out, or they ran out
07:30 and did bad things and rob people
07:32 and this kind of stuff, they were...
07:34 As far as they were considered,
07:35 doing it as a material necessity.
07:39 Then there are others,
07:40 who they were from a proper home environment,
07:43 so to speak or at least,
07:44 do have parent home environment.
07:46 But we're all living in Brooklyn,
07:47 we all live in East Flatbush.
07:49 They have the mother and the father,
07:50 they're both working.
07:51 Their parents have income, both parents have cars,
07:53 etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
07:55 They're packing pistols, they're selling weed,
07:58 they're doing everything everybody else is doing.
08:00 And they're also getting into situations of violent conflict.
08:03 And then you have those like myself who...
08:08 My physical needs were being met as far as
08:11 food, clothing, and shelter.
08:13 But then, my challenge was like
08:16 Pastor Gordon said here a little earlier.
08:19 My mom when I got to the US, my mom had four jobs, four.
08:25 My mom was working three jobs during the week
08:28 and a job on the weekend.
08:30 And so I would see my mom or hear her at times.
08:33 I would hear her get into home maybe like, around 1:00 am,
08:37 and then before I would wake,
08:40 when I got up at 7 o'clock to get dressed to go to school,
08:43 my junior high school is just across the street.
08:46 Cereal and some milk will be on the table,
08:48 some toasted bread and something like that.
08:50 And my mom would not be there, she'd already left for work.
08:52 So we have this culture where they call,
08:54 you know, latchkey children,
08:57 you know, and so on and so forth.
08:58 But my challenge was being able to survive within the culture
09:04 of those who had the immediate need to survive
09:08 because they pray on everyone else.
09:12 So then you get into this cultural struggle
09:15 where it becomes a need to elevate status.
09:19 And if there's one word I could pull out of that drug culture,
09:22 that violent culture, that survival culture,
09:24 it's the word status.
09:26 For us, it was like being in the military.
09:29 And you've been in law enforcement,
09:31 you know how it is.
09:32 And there are different ranks.
09:34 You're able to meander your way through the community
09:36 and through the society in a safe manner
09:39 relative to your rank.
09:42 When you get there, you're a private,
09:43 you're a nobody, you're a peon.
09:45 You're like a civilian.
09:47 And you can victimized by anybody else of a higher rank.
09:51 And so as you run the streets,
09:53 you're basically working towards helping yourself
09:56 move up those ranks from a private to a sergeant
10:00 to a lieutenant to a general to a brigade
10:02 or whatever, you know, in the military language.
10:05 Here's what happened often.
10:07 Some kids will start off as civilians or private
10:10 and then one day, they just,
10:11 "Okay, you know what, I'm sick of this.
10:13 I want to be a general."
10:14 So then we had status symbols, we had symbols that identified
10:19 where we stood within that rankings.
10:20 So in my days, some of the clothings
10:24 were Puma shoes, you know, Adidas shoes,
10:27 shell toe Adidas, black and silver Puma,
10:29 British Walkers, Wallabies,
10:32 and Ballys and these types shoes.
10:34 Those were styles then. We got killed for them.
10:36 Lee jeans, Lee's jacket and leather coats,
10:38 leather bomber, sheep skin coats,
10:41 what's also called shearling coat,
10:43 last but not least,
10:44 jewelry of whatever form and type.
10:46 Now if you're a general,
10:47 you're stepping off with all of that,
10:49 your jewelry, your rings, your sheep skin coats,
10:51 your leather bomber, whatever.
10:53 And for sure, you have a gun, you have a firearm
10:56 'cause you got to protect yourself.
10:58 So a lot of these kids were not involved in drug trafficking
11:01 or anything like that.
11:02 But they just got caught up in the whole status symbol thing.
11:04 Then those of us who got there through 100 fights,
11:09 going to jail, getting arrested repeatedly,
11:12 getting your head busted open in a fight,
11:13 getting your teeth knocked out in a fight,
11:16 using whatever type drugs,
11:18 you know, you really ran the rock you rode,
11:21 and you paid a price for it.
11:23 Here you see someone that you knew were a private,
11:26 or you could just sense it.
11:28 And here they are presenting themselves to the general,
11:31 then we would go and hold them at gunpoint
11:32 and rob them.
11:34 And in some unfortunate cases, injure that person fatally
11:38 because we were offended that they have made
11:41 the wrong progress within the status.
11:43 It's still going on today.
11:44 A lot of the Chicago gang wars, Brooklyn gang wars,
11:48 they have the added component of drug trafficking
11:52 and that being the new status.
11:54 But it has a lot to do with that.
11:55 Then you hear in on news, oh, this kid got killed
11:58 and he got killed for five dollars.
12:00 And these people, how could they rob and murder
12:02 this kid for five dollars.
12:03 It had nothing to do with the five dollars.
12:05 Or you got killed for your sneakers,
12:06 or you killed for your coat.
12:07 It had less to do with that
12:09 than what it had to do with this sense of attaining status
12:12 so you can survive in the community.
12:14 And another component to that is,
12:16 even now, it's a little different in some ways
12:20 because along with the status,
12:23 you used to have the different gangs,
12:25 different block gangs.
12:27 Now what is happening is that if you're on the same block,
12:31 you have one gang member
12:34 and have an opposing gang member.
12:36 But once you on that block, they become one.
12:39 And so it is very much more complex now
12:43 for the law enforcement.
12:44 Because you know that on this block,
12:47 you got one gang member, you have another one,
12:49 you have another one from different gangs,
12:52 but once anyone come in on that block,
12:56 they come together and protect the block.
12:58 So there's no longer, you know, within this...
13:02 And what you're sharing here, what Gordon is sharing here is
13:06 there's a difference between...
13:07 We actually didn't have gangs.
13:09 I got to the US to Brooklyn in '77,
13:11 and the gangs were just dying out.
13:13 I saw the last of the Brooklyn gangs by 1978,
13:16 Cats, Pumas, Jolly Stompers, Warriors, all these groups,
13:20 I saw them walking around with their jackets and all that.
13:22 And then by '78, it was done.
13:25 The gang culture died off.
13:27 And what evolved in after that is something,
13:29 for us Caribbean street guys, the posse.
13:32 And a posse is quite different from a gang.
13:34 A gang was a close specific group of people
13:38 with allegiance in that sense.
13:39 A posse, you're not necessarily connected like that,
13:42 you're coming together for a common good.
13:44 The same way it was in the West.
13:46 So there would be some needs, some violence,
13:49 and then the posse would come together
13:50 and go hunt somebody down or whatever have you,
13:52 protect the village, whatever have you.
13:54 Same thing in the streets today.
13:55 And a posse is very loose.
13:57 So as I'm saying, they come together for a specific purpose
14:00 but they're not really a gang
14:02 in the sense of this tight knitted union and all of that.
14:04 And all of that being said, let's go back to the home.
14:08 And those of us who have sons especially,
14:11 and we are in the urban environment,
14:13 please, please, spend time devotionally with your child.
14:18 Yes.
14:19 And help to build and instill in your child a sense of value.
14:24 Teach your children the difference between
14:26 the value of esteem and the value of self worth.
14:31 See, if they are pursuing life
14:34 based on the objective of self esteem,
14:36 then they are far more vulnerable to that culture.
14:39 That's how it sucked me in because, then,
14:42 I basically used that same status symbol culture
14:47 to identify myself in value.
14:49 Because if I can wear a sheep skin coat,
14:52 wear a certain amount of jewelry,
14:53 and when I stepped on a city bus,
14:55 even though I was only like about
14:56 5'6" or something like that,
14:58 people just got out my way
14:59 because the status symbol said something.
15:02 One, it said that I was armed.
15:04 Two, it said that if I could go across town
15:07 from East Flatbush to Bushwick,
15:11 to Bed-Stuyvesant and back to Kings Plaza,
15:14 wherever, and I haven't been robbed.
15:16 I must be some bad dude.
15:18 Nobody would troll me
15:19 until I would get into an environment as I said
15:22 where there were a bunch of other generals
15:23 that didn't know me,
15:25 then they had to test my ranking.
15:26 And I had to do one of two things.
15:28 Defend myself, or be victimized.
15:31 But we have to take time to instill in our children
15:36 that sense of self worth, and that starts with
15:39 who we are in the eyes of God,
15:42 not who we are in the eyes of street.
15:44 Now he and I are perfect example.
15:47 So you heard the details of my home environment.
15:52 We grew up in the same neighborhood.
15:54 At one point, we went to the same church.
15:57 I left the church in about age 13.
16:00 And I fell deeply into street violence and gang violence
16:03 and this kind of stuff.
16:04 I would still visit Brooklyn Faith on occasion.
16:08 And people, you know,
16:10 pray for our youth, pray for our youth.
16:13 I cannot stress that with any greater passion
16:17 than I am here today is what helped me to be here today.
16:22 I was a charter member of Brooklyn Faith Church.
16:25 There is still a plaque somewhere in that church
16:27 with the original eight members,
16:29 started in the basement of 52nd street in Brooklyn,
16:33 my name and my sister's name are on that plaque.
16:36 So people in the church...
16:38 I get into the church now,
16:40 just come from South America of about age 10, 11, '76, '77,
16:45 people remembered me as a little kid.
16:47 And I went from that, once I reach about age 13.
16:51 One morning, I told my mom, "Look, I'm done."
16:53 And the reason why,
16:55 it was the pressures of the street were getting to me.
16:58 Only thing I could see through the portals of my eye was,
17:00 I'm going to die.
17:02 I've got to learn how to survive on my own.
17:04 I have no father, I got no big brother,
17:06 no cousin, no nothing, and I'm short, and I'm skinny.
17:09 And I see people getting victimized
17:11 in front of me daily.
17:12 I would stand up, oh, here comes two guys,
17:15 they put a gun on me, put a gun on my friend
17:17 before I got into the status symbols so but my friend was.
17:20 They take your sneakers off,
17:22 we got to walk home in the snow, bare footed,
17:24 you know, he's bleeding, blood all over his chest
17:27 and his chest from being pistol whipped
17:28 when the guys were robbing him of the sneakers.
17:31 I keep seeing stuff like that, and I decided,
17:33 "Look, kill or be killed. I'm not gonna be a victim."
17:36 So then I became a tough guy myself.
17:38 And I stared walking that road, I stopped going to church.
17:41 People from the church would see me at times or visit the
17:44 house, plead with me,
17:46 "Please come back to church. Please come back to church."
17:48 My mom tried.
17:49 I had conversations with my mom on weird occasions.
17:52 She's there, praying, crying.
17:53 Her candles, her little shrine in the corner,
17:55 praying for me every day.
17:57 And one morning, I went over to mother,
17:58 she was praying,
18:00 and I knelt down to pray with her.
18:01 And she said...
18:02 I said to her, "Ma, you just don't understand."
18:04 You know, my mom at that time even knew that
18:07 I was armed daily.
18:09 And she turned to me and she said,
18:10 "You're going out there with weapons,
18:11 I know you're carrying weapons."
18:13 I said, "Mom, if I don't..."
18:15 I mean, I come home one afternoon, you know.
18:17 And I pray with my mother
18:18 and I went to school as regular that day.
18:20 Yes, with a gun in my coat, you know.
18:24 So even to the point
18:26 where I would run into members of the church in one occasion,
18:30 and the husband grabbed his wife.
18:33 This was late, one evening
18:34 I was coming home from somewhere.
18:36 Grabbed his wife, I recognized him,
18:38 and I started to approach them to greet them.
18:40 When I got closer to them, I realized,
18:42 these people were so terror-struck.
18:45 The man before I could greet them,
18:47 he said, "We, we, we, we, we don't want any...
18:50 We don't have any money... Here, here, here."
18:52 And started going to his pocket to take out his wallet.
18:55 And I said, you know, making up in the air,
18:57 "Brother Brown, it's me Paul,
19:00 Sister Lowe's son from Brooklyn Faith," you know.
19:03 He said, "Paul, from where?" I said, "Yeah.
19:06 Well, I don't go there no more,
19:08 but I used to go, I remember ya'll."
19:09 "Oh, Lord Jesus! Thank you Jesus."
19:11 Because they thought I was coming to rob them.
19:13 So, you know, we have to do that work of prayer,
19:18 that church never stopped praying for me.
19:21 Through my arrests, and my court trials,
19:25 and being hospitalized for this or for that, whatever,
19:28 people would always come visit me in the hospital,
19:31 people would always pray with my mother before...
19:33 if I had a legal infraction and all this kind of stuff.
19:36 It makes a difference.
19:37 But as I said, it's that foundation
19:39 of building a healthy, not esteemed,
19:42 but self worth in your child.
19:44 If you victimize your child yourself in the home,
19:46 if you're the type of father that's a bully,
19:49 and you strip your son of all his self worth,
19:52 because you're constantly domineering him,
19:55 it's not gonna help.
19:57 You can lose him to the street that way
19:59 because he'll go find value somewhere else.
20:02 Or likewise, if that is absent, period,
20:04 because there is no father in the home,
20:06 we face that same challenge.
20:07 So those of us who are able,
20:09 you said the magic word, mentorship.
20:12 Let's ensure that we mentor
20:14 the youth of our church and our community,
20:16 those of us who are fathers
20:18 who can make that difference.
20:20 And even at Brooklyn Faith, same church, as a young person,
20:25 I was a Pathfinder director
20:26 leading a group of young people,
20:29 and that's probably what I was...
20:31 That's what I was doing,
20:32 just trying to mentor them the best way that I could.
20:35 You know, we see Paul come in and slip out.
20:39 But I was amazed to see the transformation
20:41 that happened later on in life
20:43 when we got connected back together.
20:45 But mentorship, praying for your kids,
20:48 covering your kids with prayer before they leave home,
20:51 when they come home and teach them
20:52 to actually have a life of prayer
20:56 as they're on the street
20:57 because amazing what's happening on the streets
20:59 with our young people.
21:00 I talk to some of them on a regular basis
21:04 'cause I still as a pastor, mentor some of them,
21:07 the things that they are doing is just...
21:10 I can't even begin to talk about some of the things
21:12 that they are doing.
21:13 It blows my mind,
21:14 but they keep me abreast of what's happening out there.
21:17 And because of that, I kind of help...
21:21 I can be of a help to some others by telling them,
21:25 "Listen, this is not the road you want to go down."
21:28 So mentorship is important, praying for kids is important,
21:31 building that self worth as Pastor Lowe said,
21:33 it's absolutely important
21:36 in just to building our kids up.
21:38 Right.
21:39 I think, you know,
21:41 both of you brought some key points, you know.
21:43 I heard the number, teenage years,
21:45 12, 13 years old, you know,
21:47 and that's seems to be a critical point
21:48 in a kid's life to make a choice for Christ.
21:51 And Christ is not just
21:52 so you can be walking around on a cloud and be holy,
21:55 it's to save you from yourself.
21:57 You know, God works to save His children from themselves.
22:02 And the other critical factor is that
22:03 it doesn't matter what type of home you have.
22:06 In the sense of, you can come from a single parent home
22:09 or you can come from a perfect,
22:11 you know, so to speak two parent home,
22:13 Christians and everything
22:14 because that's where I came from.
22:15 A two parent home, Christians, devotion,
22:17 ate all the vegetables, was super vegetarian
22:21 but I was never in a gang,
22:23 I was just a one man show
22:25 because I turned into a Satanist.
22:27 I didn't need a gang, I was my own gang.
22:29 Mercy, mercy.
22:31 You know, all I had to say was the word,
22:33 and I became as they say,
22:35 you know the Bible says, legion.
22:37 And it feels to good to have that power, right?
22:41 Mercy, mercy.
22:42 But, and that's what we got to teach our youth
22:44 that even though it feels good,
22:46 you have no idea what you're messing with.
22:49 You're going to die.
22:51 And it's not gonna be a temporal death,
22:53 it's gonna be an eternal death.
22:56 It's not worth it. Yeah.
22:58 It's not.
23:00 And the other aspect that
23:02 I kind of saw similarities at the fact that,
23:04 I think all of us has shared that
23:05 we've all been arrested at some point in time.
23:08 You know, we've all been to jail.
23:10 It's not like we...
23:11 Somebody gave us a Bible here,
23:13 you're pastor now, you're chaplain,
23:14 no we are all disciples, messed up individuals.
23:20 You know, Peter cut somebody's ear off,
23:23 Simon, you know, John and James were, you know,
23:28 so like sailors probably because they were fishermen.
23:31 You have Matthew the tax collector,
23:33 you know, every single person, every single follower of Christ
23:36 is not meant to be this perfect example.
23:38 And I think as fathers, with our kids
23:42 and with those that we see in need of that discipleship,
23:46 we need to show them our brokenness,
23:48 we need to show them that we are fathers
23:51 but we are in leadership
23:53 but we're not this holier than dove persona.
23:56 We've been there, we've done it,
23:57 we know what it's like, and we know.
23:59 And God only saved us from ourselves through His grace
24:03 so we can mentor others.
24:04 Amen.
24:05 That's one thing that I do with my son is,
24:08 he knows his father's journey.
24:11 And he knows the struggles of life.
24:15 But one thing that I want to point out,
24:17 and it's an economic thing also that plays into this,
24:22 a lot of fathers don't have jobs,
24:24 and so they can't provide as much as they would want to
24:27 for the young people.
24:29 And so when their sons grew up and they started having,
24:33 you know, little ones,
24:35 they themselves or find themselves in the economic fix.
24:38 As a church, what we have done is that we've created
24:42 something that's called I work Chicago, and thereby,
24:45 every year, we have applicants over 900 plus
24:49 looking for work and we have big jobs, huge job fairs
24:54 and resource center whereby
24:56 we point them and help them find work.
24:59 If you don't have a job and you're on the streets,
25:04 you're gonna stay in,
25:06 and you're gonna get yourself in trouble.
25:08 So we have to provide something for them.
25:12 And you know, we can't depend on the guy.
25:14 I think the church is a integral part of it,
25:16 we've got to come along side these families, we've got...
25:19 For me, I'm the pastor of my community,
25:22 I'm the pastor of the entire city of Chicago.
25:26 You should be able to come to my church,
25:28 and you'll be able to find resources
25:30 whereby you can be pointed to a job or something,
25:33 that's an important piece.
25:35 I know, we only have about a minute left,
25:37 but I wanted to share quickly also to keep in mind once again
25:42 what these new status symbols are,
25:44 because they are the distractions.
25:46 The old status symbols had to do with being respected,
25:49 dressing well, being esteemed in the street,
25:52 have a little bit of money in your pocket.
25:53 The new status symbol is wealth,
25:55 and I mean extreme wealth, extreme wealth.
25:58 And that's being fused and nurtured by the media,
26:02 by the culture especially, but many of us also.
26:05 So it's not just having money in your pockets,
26:08 but having great amount of money, right.
26:11 It's about reaching the level of PhD
26:14 or some multi skilled individuals, some CEO,
26:18 you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
26:20 And which way can you do that or accomplish that
26:22 if you live in an urban ghetto?
26:25 Drugs, murder for hire, prostitution,
26:28 or whatever other illicit practice, you know.
26:32 And God forbid, in the past, I did near all of those
26:37 but you get your hands on those things
26:39 and you're building up your status
26:41 and your income to be a high roller.
26:45 So once again, this is where the self worth
26:49 and not esteem is important for the nurture of our youth
26:52 and our church population.
26:53 And as Fraser said also being part of a solution
26:56 by providing education as paramount,
26:58 getting our kids through college,
27:00 helping them to be degreed,
27:01 but also helping them to engage occupations
27:05 that can provide them a successful form of living,
27:08 and teaching them the purpose that they're living for.
27:11 You're not living here to satisfy and make yourself rich,
27:14 you're living here to be a part of the kingdom of God.
27:17 And I appreciate that, guys.
27:18 And we got to pick this up again
27:20 'cause it's a deep topic.
27:21 And for you out there, fathers, it's time to step up.
27:25 We keep saying that over and over again because it is.
27:29 We in and of ourselves don't have the perfect answers.
27:32 We really don't, but it's time to step up
27:34 and be there for your children.
27:36 And if you don't have any kids,
27:38 be there for the kids of the community, you know.
27:41 Stop taking out your phones to video tape fights, you know.
27:45 Especially young people, stop taking a video,
27:48 you know, your cell phones out and taping fights,
27:50 it's not cool.
27:52 It doesn't help it, it just contributes to the violence.
27:54 And fathers, again,
27:56 God calls you to step up and step out,
27:59 it's time to do the right thing.
28:00 Thank you for watching.


Revised 2018-10-18