Archives for posts with tag: Andrew Young

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Andrew Young, Jr. apologized to the crowd for sitting while he spoke. He said sitting would help his 83 year old knees as he talked to the folks gathered at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

Andy (as he likes to be called) Young was one of the closest friends and co-workers of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and gave leadership to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Someone said, “At some point civil rights activists have to come in off the streets and get involved in politics.” And that is what he did when he was elected to the U.S. House of representatives in 1972 becoming the first African American to represent Georgia in Congress since Reconstruction. Later President Jimmy Carter named him as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and after leaving that post he was elected Mayor of Atlanta in 1981.

Before his political career Young was a pastor. After graduating from Hartford Theological Seminary he was ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ in 1955. That calling was very apparent when he used the words of the biblical prophet Micah as he spoke to the folks in church last Sunday. “What does God require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”

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The crowd gathered in the Peachtree Road United Methodist sanctuary heard stories from Young’s childhood in New Orleans and how his father taught him about honesty and respect. Reflecting on his time as ambassador he told a story about a meal of cornbread, field peas, corn on the cob, and fried chicken prepared by his mother-in-law from Alabama in the kitchen of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York  for the Chinese delegation to the U.N. . This was an example of his belief that “breaking bread together” helps to transcend our differences.

As a youngster, Andrew Young, Jr. was an athlete. Once on a trip with his parents to North Carolina he ran to the top of Kings Mountain. As he stood at the top of that mountain and viewed the surrounding beauty, he said he became aware of God’s presence in a very special way. When he came down from the mountain he had a definite sense that God had a purpose for his life. He did not understand what it was but from that day onward he tried to be faithful every day to God.

I don’t believe that everyone who follows God’s will and purpose for their life will have such extraordinary experiences as Andrew Young. But I am convinced that if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing today, we will be where God wants us to be whenever God has something else for us. And that is the exciting way of faith!

Lord, help us to faithfully follow You in all our ways every day!

Jamie Jenkins

If you want to know how many left-handed, blue-eyed, young adults live in a particular zip code, there is a poll that can tell you. Are you interested in the flavor of ice cream preferred by bald-headed men over the age of 65 (Butter Pecan for me)? There is a survey that can give you that information. Looking for the shampoo that gives you healthy full bodied hair (I am)? Marketing analysts will be glad to guide you.

We have come to rely on surveys, polls, and prognosticators to tell us what is popular or pricey. And usually the two go together. The cars we buy, the television shows we watch, the places we go on vacation depend a lot on this kind of data.

Before the election last week, virtually all polls told us that certain political races were “too close to call.” The numbers suggested that it would probably take a while to determine the outcome of some pivotal positions and some would be determined by a run-off.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the polls showed “the two top races in Georgia were so excruciatingly close that both might have to be decided by runoffs.” But the outcomes were very different.

According to one news story, some prognosticators “didn’t take into account caveats, like margins of error and undecided voters, that swung the numbers.” And “some earlier surveys were simply imprecise. They relied on automated calling and Internet surveys, cheaper methods scorned by more established pollsters.”

In other words, the polls were wrong!

Just a few days ago news media reported that former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young had been scheduled to be aboard a plane that crashed in the Bahamas but he backed out at the last moment because of concerns about weather conditions. This information was attributed to a family friend or a spokesman “who didn’t want to be named.”

However, the day after the deadly crash Young said he was not scheduled to be on that flight. “Any reports to the contrary are incorrect,” he said. His wife, Carolyn, said people knew that her husband was in the Bahamas for a conference and were not able to reach him. So they “put two and two together and got nine.”

Sometimes people just come to wrong conclusions but when they express them, others accept them as factual and true. Rumors get started and before you know it they take on a life of their own. Many people believe what they hear without any reliable third party verification or critical assessment.

I watch and listen to news reports on radio, television, and the internet. I am one of a dying breed of people who still read the daily newspaper. I learn a lot and I think I am reasonably well informed. But I realize that everything I hear and read is not always totally true.

However, there is one source that I have found to be completely reliable. I do not always understand all that it provides and sometimes I question what I read. It does not tell me everything I want or need to know and there are certainly different opinions about what some of it means. Nevertheless it has never misled me and I have never found it to be untrue. It offers an unlimited source of knowledge and guidance.

I am talking about the Bible and I commend it to you.

Jamie Jenkins