“AS AMERICANS, BEFORE WE CAN CHANGE OUR MINDSET, WE FIRST NEED TO CHANGE WHAT WE ARE WEARING” – #ToddCPittman

“We have a choice to let our anger be KNOWN or let it be SHOWN.” – #ToddCPittman

On May 25, 2020, a man named George Floyd was murdered in front of the world. It seems many of us were wearing different lenses that day and saw things differently. What I saw was something that has been going on long before the existence of anyone who is reading this today. What I saw were individuals who had confidence in their arrogance and ignorance of whose children we all are. What I saw was a segment of our society who continues to wear a false perception of superiority. Let’s ask ourselves what we are wearing today? I’m not talking about the shoes on our feet, the label inside our suit jacket, or not even someone else’s monogram on the pocketbooks we carry. No sir, I’m questioning what are we wearing that as protection for our soul? When I read the posts on Instagram, Facebook, Nextdoor, and other sites it is obvious that many of us are walking in the dark without a thing on, I’m talking butt naked with our souls exposed for the enemy to use at will. Like me right now everyone is angry at something, but like I shared yesterday with two brothers I love down in Louisiana, Chief Murphy Paul and Rick Horton, we all have a choice to let our anger be KNOWN or let it be SHOWN. We can choose to let our anger be KNOWN by using our experiences and intellect to position ourselves to decision making positions within the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. We can let our anger be KNOWN by changing out of our bathrobe and into an academic cap & gown or a judge’s robe. We can let our anger be KNOWN by supporting those institutions and organizations that promote spiritual knowledge building and/or peaceful societal change. We can let our anger be KNOWN by PEACEFULLY convening in protest against systemic discrimination and institutionalized racism. We can let our anger be KNOWN by casting our VOTE! But keep in mind that we live by choice and we also have the choice to let our anger be SHOWN. We can let our anger be SHOWN by destroying our neighborhood parks and schools where our children play and receive an education. We can let our anger be SHOWN by looting from our neighborhood shops where we need to buy food and clothing and so many of our brothers and sisters have invested all they have to fulfill their dream of entrepreneurship. We can let our anger be SHOWN by burning down the only community location where so many depend on obtaining their needed medications and pharmaceutical supplies. I am the proud father and grandfather of three adult daughters, one adult son, and three grandchildren. All intelligent, beautiful, African-Americans who represent America’s finest universities and our military, the United States Marine Corps. And although my wife is a beautiful and brilliant Ph.D. Chemist by profession and I have been directly responsible at federal, state, and local levels for more than $100M of reinvestment into our country’s most overlooked communities, to all those who wear the lenses of inequality the beauty of all of our educational and professional contributions to society will continue to be blurred by the color of our skin until each of us take a deep inside look into what is covering our soul. My family has chosen to let our anger be KNOWN both in the natural and spiritually by using all tools and resources available to us to enable us to adequately stand in our spiritual, mental, and physical battle against the tricks of evil. Our strength to stand strong and love others regardless of unjust or prejudicial treatment of others comes from a war chest comprised of truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. We wear the armor of God! Before we can change our mindset to address the racial discrimination many of us face and the views some of us have, we first need to take a moment to be still and change what we are wearing. Whether we need to put on the armor Shiva, Buddha, Allah, or Yahweh we have to protect our soul to protect our minds. Let’s do what needs to be done to protect our minds against the devil’s pursuit to continue to penetrate our thoughts and actions. Let’s protect our minds against thinking all people are alike. All white people are not racists, I can attest for those that have prayed for and continue to pray for equality – but there are those who need to ask themselves What am I wearing? All police officers are not corrupt and prejudice, I can attest for the members of my family who are in law enforcement – but there are those who need to ask themselves What am I wearing? All black men are not thugs and looters, I can attest . . . FOR I AM ABLACK MAN and I wear the Armor of God! – #ToddCPittman

“Boldness Must Accompany Fearlessness”

“If we were never left in the dark, had 24-hr. security, and lived in Fort Knox – Would we be scared? I thought not.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Psalm 27:1 (NLT) – (1) The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

“Sometimes we’ve got to step up our game in not only believing but speaking boldly about our fearlessness! David was a bold man and knew how to do some back in the day holy boasting when it came to the Lord’s protection. When David asked why should he be afraid and why should he tremble, he wasn’t looking for answers – they were rhetorical questions. He was doing what we need to do. He was expressing his confidence in having no fear! It’s like this – when we walk in the dark without light we fear we might trip and fall. When we are faced with a sudden lack of income and community-wide health disparities we fear the inability to make it day by day and terminal illnesses. And when we feel like our problems are hitting us in every direction we fear vulnerability with no one to turn to. Well here’s the deal, stuff is going to happen! Another storm is going to come! And when it does we can shrink and cower, we can curse folk out, we can send invitations to our pity party, or we can be like David and believe with boldness and without fear that our God will continue to light our path through the storm, fight our battles when we are feeling weak, and remain the impenetrable fortress of protection that always wins in the end!” – #ToddCPittman

“If Our Words Were Our Reflection, What Would We See?”

“Our words are a reflection of our life. Just like an artist takes time to create a masterpiece, we need to be slow to speak. Let’s not let our words paint an ugly picture of our life.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV) – (18) Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

“Pre-COVID-19 my Sundays were often spent attending two separate services at two different churches. One solo and then I would then join my wife at for a second service. In our current shelter-in-place environment, my wife and I have been able to worship together at both services via live stream and this Sunday was no exception. Yesterday both services delivered similar messages reminding us that our thoughts and words can move mountains or build roadblocks. The scriptures remind us that our words have the power to bless or curse. Let’s remember that we are men and women who are defined more by what comes out of our mouth than what goes in. We’ve all heard the saying “Your gonna eat your words.” Well then, when we look at our words are we living off a diet of gossip? Are we cursing out our future? Will things never come to fruition because our fruit bowl is full of mistruths? We have to be mindful that our words can condemn us and negatively impact our future. We can’t speak in selfishness or with a quick response from anger. Come on now, we’ve got to be slow to speak! Why the heck do you think – if we ever break the law – before they make an arrest they will give a disclaimer that we have the right to SHUT THE HECK UP? And then if we end up in a courtroom we’ll be reminded again we have the right to plead the fifth! It’s because we will eat the fruit of our tongue if we aren’t careful, that’s why! So, let’s please be mindful of the words we speak and humble up and know when to ask God to help us simply be silent.” – #ToddCPittman

“When We’re Poor in the Pockets, Let’s Get Rich in His Word”

“When we feel like we’ll never get out of our financial hole, we’ve got to tap into the fund that never loses its value. We’re never broke as long as we have access to God’s Word!” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Luke 6:38 (NLT) – (38) Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

“COVID-19 has taken lives and has also brought on financial hardship to many. These are times when we might not see a way to afford basic necessities, let alone pay non-essential bills. One thing we tend to do when we are in a financial bind is to get angry with folks we’ve loaned money to and they haven’t paid us back. This morning Luke 6:38 is a good reminder that when our finances pin us up against the wall, our thoughts contribute to the outcome of our situation. Even though this scripture is not so much about money but about forgiveness, the reality is that it’s really a good source to make our pockets fatter! It’s a reminder of the teachings of Jesus to the fundamental principals of sowing and reaping! We’ve all heard of forgivable loans right? Well, let’s not take things out on those we’ve loaned money to in the past. Oh well, they didn’t pay us back. Hey, we’ve got to bless those who curse us and pray for those who mistreat us. Let’s remember that forgiveness will be given for those who forgive, just as condemnation will be cast on those who criticize and condemn others. When we are in a financial setback, let’s replenish our stash by filling up with His Word instead of filling up with anger and blame.” – #ToddCPittman

“Don’t Let ’em Ride, They Might Want to Drive”

“Don’t rush! We’ve got to be careful who we get with, who we welcome in our circle, our homes, and our hearts. Let’s not fall for those who might cause us to fall.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NLT) – (14) “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?”

“This morning my day started listening to one of my favorite gospel songs, “Shake the Devil Off” from the wonderful Sister Dorothy Norwood out of the ATL. Man, that tune was timely as I took in some good stuff from 2 Corinthians this morning. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to shake a few folks off over the years and the scriptures this morning are a good reminder that we’ve got to remember that everyone we meet is not going to line up with the plan and purpose God has for our life. We can’t rush into relationships just because we’re tired of being single and we can’t keep folks around us who don’t put equal value in family, spirituality, and professionalism. Let’s choose carefully those we open up our home to, our hearts to, and those we choose to fellowship with. Think of it like this – What happens when we try to bring together light with darkness? What happens is the darkness picks up and is nowhere to be found because they’re not compatible! And some people are the same way. We’ve got to be careful spending too much of our life around people who don’t share our same values. It’s just like Sister Norwood sings about the devil, “Don’t let him ride, he might want to drive!” – #ToddCPittman

“Keep it Lit but Stay Grounded!”

“When things get dark and unstable we need inextinguishable light that will illuminate our path and keep us on stable ground.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Psalm 119:105 (NLT) – (105) Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

“While listening to my music this morning I sang to the lyrics of ‘There’s a storm out, on the ocean and it’s moving this old way. If your soul’s not anchored in Jesus you will surely drift away.’ While reading the scriptures this morning, those powerful words resonated with me and served as a reminder of the solution to whenever life’s troubles have us saying, ‘I’m confused.’ It’s like this – When we can’t see clearly we need a source of light that leads us to what we’re supposed to do and reveals what our expectations are. We need a source of light that isn’t only shining on our good side, but also shows us our imperfections and disobedience. I’m talking about a source that keeps the direction of our destiny walk lit. For me, the best source that brings light to truth and falsehoods, morality and immortality, and lets us see any stumbling blocks in our path is God’s Word! So if we are saying we’re confused and don’t know what to do, we better get to studying God’s Word. And if we are studying and still don’t know what to do we need to step up our exercises called trust and faith. The bottom line is yes, God’s Word is truly the light we need, but it is only good for those whose eyes are opened to Him. Think about it, what good is a flashlight to those who have on a blindfold?” – #ToddCPittman

“Discovery and Purpose, They Go Hand and Hand”

“We’re blessed with purpose and to fulfill that purpose we’ve got to discover a place of belonging so we don’t grow weak in our faith.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Ephesians 2:22 AMP – (22) In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

“I am sure there have been times when we all have felt that we are falling short of our purpose in life or even if we feel we are fulfilling our purpose we might be in need of new opportunities to strengthen our faith. Whether we are looking to build better circumstances in our life or we are simply looking to build the next steps in our spiritual journey, the scriptures remind us that we can’t build it alone. Let’s not forget that just as salvation is owed to the grace of God, our success in building new circumstances and steps to strengthen our faith is owed entirely to the power of God through the Holy Spirit! Don’t get it? Ok, it’s like this, we have to put on our extrovert hat and accept that we need fellowship and work together to get our house in order and help put us in check when we start heading down a path we know we ain’t got no business going – Yep, I Said it! We need to find a place – a church, a dwelling place – where we can be active. I’m talking about worship, fellowship, community outreach, and opportunities for us all to grow as leaders in His Kingdom. And that can’t be done alone because the church is us, God’s people! As we get closer to quarantines being lifted across the globe, look at it like this . . . Where we choose to dwell is where we are going to discover God’s purpose for our life. With that said, you can dwell with Netflix and the couch if you want to, but I’m out.” – #ToddCPittman

“Don’t Take Control, Relinquish Control”

“During a storm, there is a limit to the protection an umbrella can provide. Let’s be mindful of our source of boundless refuge and enduring strength.”#ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Psalm 46:1 – (1) God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

“When our circumstances seem overwhelming and we feel we are at a breaking point and don’t see a tomorrow, we tend to think we need to get a grip and take control of our life. Here’s a newsflash – THERE ARE CERTAIN LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES WE CANNOT CONTROL. Whether we are in a battle for financial stability, at war with poor health, on the battlefield with addictions, or even struggling to recognize our own self-worth, change is gonna come when we accept that there are times when we need to recognize our strengths and weaknesses and relinquish control over to God! One great way to relinquish control is to pray! During our tough times, we’ve got to allow prayer to welcome us into His boundless refuge and provide us with limitless strength. When we pray we channel a source of hope that our enemies work hard to make inaccessible.” – #ToddCPittman

“Suffering Is a Process of Restoration”

“Don’t always question the Host. Suffering is an invitation from the Host to draw us nearer to Him. Let’s accept the invite.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Joel 2:25 (NKJV) – (25) So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

“At one time in our lives, we’ve questioned why God has allowed us to experience grief and pain. What we do during those hard times is very important. Some of us will see the opportunity to draw closer to God and some of us will turn away from Him. But know this, OUR SUFFERING DOES NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT PURPOSE! Our suffering is our opportunity to change who we are. You see, God has this way, this one of a kind ability, to take everything we lost and bring it back double! That ability to take our brokenness and make us new! That ability of RESTORATION! When we are going through stuff God is getting our attention and inviting us closer to Him and we can’t allow our suffering and adversity to block that invite! We’ve got to humble up and allow Him to turn our pain into purpose! So as we battle those addictive enemies, fight our financial battles, and grieve the loss of more than 182,000 of our brothers and sisters due to COVID-19, let’s not let that suffering distance us from Jesus because if we do – that my friend – is when the enemy will win the battle!” – #ToddCPittman

“Find Joy in Bad Circumstances”

“Let’s consider our troubling experiences a joy. Our most challenging times are put before us as opportunities to grow. Don’t miss the opportunity.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did James 1:2-5 (NLT) – (2) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. (3) For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (4) So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (5) If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

“When something bad happens to us we should file those experiences in our ‘Things to Rejoice Over’ folder. It’s like this, when we lock our keys in the car we get mad. When we lose a loved one we mourn. This is expected and although it’s not a time when God commands us to be happy, we must know that He is speaking to us through our difficulties. You see God allows difficult circumstances to occur to help direct us, to help guide us, and to help us grow spiritually. At the moment of difficulties is not the time for us to try to figure out the ‘Why’. Instead, let’s focus our energy on accepting that He has a perfect plan for us and let’s take the time to pray and meditate on His Word for guidance. Our troubles are opportunities laid before us to make us stronger as we continue our destiny walk. Let’s not be confused by the worldy resources of Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, or the rest of the world because when we turn to our Godly resources and label our troubles as joyful things and valuable lessons, that’s what builds our trust in God and that’s when we will understand His plan for our success.” – #ToddCPittman