Monday, March 08, 2004

Sal's Corner

I love church. I think the idea of gathering with those who believe in what you believe is essential to successful living. Its one thing to watch a game by yourself, but when you can watch it with friends who root for the same team its better. What's EVEN better is when you GO to the game WITH friends who enjoy the sport as much as you do. As is the same for church. Although church should not be taken as a game or as a sport, to be able to fellowship with those who believe as you do can be a blessing. But I want to talk about the GOOD AND the BAD things about church as we know it. Let's be clear on one thing though, this article is NOT about spirituality. This article is about church. Some dont realize that there is a difference. Spirituality is how you live, whereas church is the ritual that you partake in religiously. Im also looking at the idea of church from a lighter/humorous perspective so please dont take offense.

The BAD things about church:

* The Week Before. You know when you go to church what you've done the week before can do you in that Sunday. Even the NIGHT before on Saturday could hurt you. Sometimes you might have done something so bad that you cant even see going into church with a guilty conscience.

Solution: No matter what though, go ahead in there. PERIOD. Everyone is struggling with SOMETHING. No one is "Holier than thou" so work towards being where you should be with your relationship with God.

* The Offering. The offering is NOT bad. I believe you should give an offering and tithe as well. I just think it should be done differently. Like, we should be able to pay from home. Or when we first get in the building. 'Cause when the pastor starts reading the announcements and you know its getting towards the offering. AT that point, all the big timers start pulling out wads and you look like you about to go catch the bus with all that change you have.

Solution: Even if you got 35 cents. Let that change drop in that bucket and make it as loud as possible. So what you dont have $20 to give. So what your money makes noise when it goes in. Aint that what Jesus said to do? MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE.

* The "Double Clap". Everybody likes to get their jam on, and their praise on. Thats cool. But some of yall be tryna be too fancy. Sometimes I think yall might be getting your moves from the club. But that "Double Clap" can throw some of us off. Most women can do the "Double Clap". Its the men who mess it up. You ever seen a 60-year old man try to double-up on the clap? Its NOT pretty. Old men have a hard enough time keeping up with the rhythm ANYWAY. Then they look over and see Sister Ragsdale dropping in a "Double Clap" and he thinks HE can do it too!

Solution: If you dont have Rhythm, just lift up both hands and look up. That seems to always help?????

* Attire. Ok I have a serious "Bone" to pick with this subject. Prime example...........YESTERDAY. I didnt feel like dressing up. So I had my New Balance on, White Tee, Zip-up Sweater/Jacket and a pair of jeans. Ironed, cleaned and neat. Wouldnt appear to be a problem now would it? I get to church yesterday and I noticed that some people looked at me like I was crazy. Now I dress down every once in a while so I dont think its that much of a shocker BUT I had people responding REALLY different. Had people asking "Where have you been?" and "Its been a long time since I've seen you". I was like "IVE BEEN HERE EVERY WEEK!" They act like when you come in with "regular" clothes on that you've been out in the street on dope. People were looking at me SO funny that I had to ask myself "DO I look like I've been on that D????"

Solution: Understand that no one is perfect. Even though someone may know the bible back and forth like the back of their hand, we ALL are human. And our human element comes out. They see you with "regular" clothes and their human mentality thinks "He/She is in the street now".

The GOOD things about church:

* Love. No where have I found as much genuine love as in church. People greet you with a smile, you get hugs and encouragement from people you may not even know! Its truly a good feeling when you can go to a "real" loving church and receive love from people. It makes you feel that the world aint completely bad after all

* The Women. NO NO NO, see im not even thinking that deep into it. So before you think the wrong thing let me go in detail about what I mean. Going to church and seeing beautiful women lets me know that there are some women left that are fit to be wives. Not saying that because a woman is in church, she is gonna be perfect but at least she has her mind on the Lord.

* Growth. Looking at where you've been and where you are going and being able to give thanks to God for where he has brought you in this lifetime is good. Sometimes we pray for what we want but never stop to just say thanks. You aint gotta say a 30 minute prayer. But when you go to church, often times you think about that car that coulda hit you this week or that person who hooked you up with an extra wing at the carryout or that man who passed you his transfer on the bus through the window so you could get on the bus free. That makes you look to the sky and just say "Thanks God". If we would just thank him for what he's done, all the other things we need would come much easier

* Passing on Knowledge. Its been times in my life where someone like a close friend has been down or discouraged and I had nothing to say in my mind to solve or help their problem. Many times a message from church popped up in my head and I said exactly that to help my friend in need. Take the time and listen to whats being said and apply it to your life. When you continue to hear whats being said from God, you can help others in their life.

Just remember, no matter what life is a walk. Sometimes you stumble and EVEN fall. Just keep one foot in front of the other........."CHUUUCH"

Groundhog Days
by Reggie Dinkins Jr.

Many people, mainly those from the Magical World of Caucazoids, tend to believe in pointless days, and creatures with fictional powers. A prime example is Groundhog Day, these people (present reading company included or excluded depending upon your belief) think some fat furry aminal is going to forecast the weather. Not a chance, you can have Puxatauny, around here I have my own methods.

There are certain days between February and April when you can tell the weather is going to be real nice. Sometimes it is the obvious 65 degrees on your morning tv, or 5 real pretty girls on the train. There are certain types of people that let you know the weather is bout to break and that your Friday may be wild, like crazy young Kindergartener who should be a rittalin-child. I like to call these people Groundhogs. Take a trip with me if you will.

Groundhogs come in many different varieties. Like that variety pack of chips your mother would buy, some good some bad. A groundhog could be a bunch of good-looking girls in a 4 by 75 foot space, better known as a Metrocar. Speaking of the train, there are many groundhogs who lay in wait here. You got that guy who gets on who doesnt look like he should be up this early wearing a Coca-Cola shirt. Lemme really break this down for you, here is a list of groundhogs.

*Older guys in Salem and or Newport t-shirts

*A special panel of people on smoke breaks, there are people that are always out there, but you never see them together, but they unite and indulge in "Cigarette Philosophy"

*Somebody wearing a cheap-fur in mid-morning.

*Niggas in jackets with sports teams on them, but the jackets are from 95 or earlier.

*People who smell of beer in public.

*A woman with a new hair color, she trying to get right for that weather.

*Fat people moving too quickly, this always lets you know something has gone awry.

*Co-workers in public: a strange dude walking with 1 or 2 foxy ladies, in their "I shouldnt wear this to the office" clothes

*Now this one is relatively new: Niggas in suspenders without their jackets.

*Old lady in green stockings, u know she working a desk job.

*Old dudes that break out the checker boards

*You see your neighborhood alley mechanic at work

*Ladies with bad low-haircuts, i mean bad.

*People with gold-toofus. The gold-toofus is way more noticable in warm climate.

There are many types of Groundhogs, sometimes it is just a look in a person's eye, a velcro strap will do it. There are many little things that go unoticed, such as a funny cough, or a cigarette behind the ear, or too many people in the cleaners, especially a black-owned cleaners. Keep an eye out for the Groundhogs, otherwise you might be wearing that leather when a windbreaker will do.

This is a reminder from the NNCG, Neighborhood Niggas Cutting Grass. Please tip your neighborhood nigga cutting grass, because we gotta pay somebody to use their edger. This aint Chemlawn, its Themlawn. We just be cutting Themlawns, and edging is extra.