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Summary: Sermon Preached at the April 2010, 125 servant leaders from around the nation gathered on the Children's Defense Fund Alex Haley Farm to participate in a Youth Advocate Leadership Training (YALT) to address issues involving our youth. At the April traini

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Jeremiah 1:17

"But you—up on your feet and get dressed for work!

Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say.

Don't pull your punches

or I'll pull you out of the lineup.

18-19"Stand at Up while I prepare you for your work.

I'm making you as impregnable as a city,

Immovable as a steel post,

solid as a concrete block wall.

You're a one-man defense system

against this culture,

Against Judah's kings and princes,

against the priests and local leaders.

They'll fight you, but they won't

even scratch you.

I'll back you up every inch of the way."

God's Decree.

Not A New Jack City,

I was thinking on My High School Graduation, 2011 will mark my 20th. Year reunion it will also mark the year I started Working for CDF as a Summer intern and While I was Challenging myself to work for the community and the Young Persons in My Home Town of Bennettsville there was a Competing Image of the Hollywood Film NEW Jack City. A film that on many Levels Glorified Violence, Murder, Crime, Drugs and had a CREAM mentality (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) was in opposition to everything CDF was showing and Pulling out of me.

It is at this tension I place this text. I hear God in this text Saying Stand Up. We have to many persons in our communities that are afraid to stand up, to be countercultural.

Jeremiah story is similar to that of many us, Jeremiah meaning “YHWH exalts” The word Say that Jeremiah was Called before he was born and given a Call to minister as a young Boy. You talk about a theology of Cradle Recovery. Yet even in his youth he was challenged to Stand Up, to rise up , to grid up his lurns.

Let me Move

There is a scene in the movie New Jack City where the Drug Dealing cartels/gang, the Cash Money Brothers (CMB) is taking over the Carter an inter city Housing Project and turning an entire apartment complex ("The Carter") into a crack house. and Nino Brown the leader of this Street game slashed organized Crime Family or Young Black Thugs says (Yeah, we takin' over the Carter. We gon' bum rush the whole thing. Now if the tenants cooperate, oh, it'll be lovely. They'll be loyal customers, if not, forget it, it'll be like in Beirut, they'll be live-in hostages.) And it just happens! There is no one there to prevent them from doing this sure there is one man crying out in the wilderness but no one to engage the system. There are no forces of Community to rescue the children who live in poverty in the Housing Project. There are no city elected officials to stop the Takeover of the homes of some of the most marginalized victims of the Drug war and the Collateral Damage victims of Americas war on Racial Equality. It Just Happened, and sadly that may not be the fantasy and movie magic, way too many places around this country and globally things are just allowed to happen to children.

I have a real problem when The Cash Money mind set takes over and the City refuses to be a community and things move according to who has the money. I don’t mind saying I have a problem with a person who can sit at a table and bring home 4 Million dollar bonuses on 20 million dollar salaries off of the foreclosures of homes of folks that won't ever make a million dollars, Oh yawl looking at me but 18,000 dollars time fifty is still less than a million.

My son is a real part of that concern for me being born in 2002 when I am faced with a statistic based on 2001 that talks about the likely hood of a Black Boy having 1 in 3 chance of going to prison in his lifetime, I have very little cognitive distance.

I am Right there I see his face in that Passionate Picture that CDF uses in the report with the lines drawn between the little Boy and the Prisoner, You have to understand my son whom I often refer to as my Clone, he is Large, Extremely smart and very active, has not met a tree or Roof that he has not at least mentally pondered climbing, My son has a teacher Mrs. Brody, Last Year when My Son was moving into 5k the principle whom I had made myself close to because I have Omri said Oh don’t Worry I have a teacher for Omri, I said Great Because I would Not want him to have his sisters teacher she was great just not for him, She is preface I have often wished he could keep her until College, A little small hard chocolate woman with a strong personality, I know she keeps Omri in Check because I pay attention to her when I am in her presence, She runs up to me the other day and Says Your Son almost made me lose my mind, my religion and Job. This is not unusual so I listen as she is animated jumping around telling her story. We were preparing for his Map Test(Measures of Academic Progress by NAWA), And we had been hyping the kids all day and week with the importance of doing well on the test and Omri has just been saying all day how well he wanted to do on the test.

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