Archives for posts with tag: Jimmy Carter

 

Coca Cola Company Classic Logo

If you grew up in the southern part of the United States you know that Coke is a cold carbonated beverage that comes in many flavors. If you are from any other part of the world Coke may have a different meaning.

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Everyone knows that Kleenex is any brand of facial tissue but technically it is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Who does not understand that Jello is any gelatin dessert. These are two examples of many product names that, due to their popularity, have become the generic name for a general class of product. Other examples of trademark registered names that are viewed similarly are Thermos, ChapStick, Dumpster, Band-Aid, and Velcro.

The origin of product, place, and commodity names is often lost. People just repeat and accept them without any thought.

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter Boulevard is named after a former Governor of Georgia and President of the United States. Martin Luther King Boulevard reminds most of the current populace of the Civil Rights leader who modeled Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance. But will people who travel those roadways a hundred years from now give any thought to the persons for which they are named?

I live about a mile from where Medlock Bridge Road and East Jones Bridge Road intersect. Does anyone ever ask who these people were after which their roadways are named? Where were the bridges? What stream or chasm did they cross? My house is just off Bush Road. Most folks have no clue that one of the original Bush families lives in the 1950s ranch style house at the entrance to the subdivision.

Los Angeles  - The Utah Jazz played with a heavy heart then took the court and showed the love for...

Sports fans may support their favorite teams with great enthusiasm but do they know or care about their team names? How did the Major League Baseball Team in Cincinnati come to be called the Reds? An NBA team in Utah named the Jazz?

 

 

 

Why are there buildings that sport names like Quicken Loans Arena and Sun Trust Park but you don’t go there to get a loan or conduct your banking business?

 

Certain images and memories come to mind when you hear some names. Rockefeller and Carnegie project images of wealth. You think baseball and home runs when you hear the names Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. What would golf be without Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer? Michael Jordan is synonymous with Michael Jordan. Football without Vince Lombardi?

You cannot discuss great music without the names of Mozart and Bach being a part of the conversation. Alexander the Great and Napoleon will forever be remembered as great conquerors. Martin Luther and John Wesley made their mark in history as religious reformers.

Blessings are not just found in hearing the word of God but also applying it to your life. (James 1:22) #NotOfThisWorld

Centuries ago followers of Jesus were called Christian because of their devotion to the One they believed was Unique and they patterned their lives after Him. I wonder what the name “Christian” means in today’s world.

Jamie Jenkins

Jimmy Carter

For nearly 50 years Law Day was one of the traditions of the University of Georgia. Randall Balmer, journalist for the Hartford Courant, described it as “an occasion to honor student achievements as well as to invite distinguished guests, ranging from Supreme Court justices and attorneys general to cabinet members and politicians of national stature.”  The last Law Day was on March 31, 2000.

The featured speaker of Law Day in 1974 was Edward M. Kennedy, the senior senator from Massachusetts. A couple of hours after Kennedy’s keynote address, Jimmy Carter, the governor of  Georgia, addressed the group. His lecture on justice upstaged Sen. Kennedy who at that time was considered the front-runner for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination

Carter attributed his sense of justice to two main sources, Reinhold Niebuhr and Bob Dylan. He said it was Dylan’s song, “I Ain’t Gonna Work on Maggie’s Farm No More,” that led him to begin to focus on the needs of ordinary people like the tenant farmers he had known in south Georgia.

Bob Dylan

Carter lamented that “the powerful and the influential in our society shape the laws and have a great influence on the legislature or the Congress.” He criticized their “commitment to the status quo” that preserves the “privileged position in society.” He concluded his remarks by saying that “the course of human events, even the greatest historical events, are not determined by the leaders of a nation or a state, like Presidents or governors or senators. They are controlled by the combined wisdom and courage and commitment and discernment and unselfishness and compassion and love and idealism of the common ordinary people.”

God has always demonstrated a concern for ordinary people. Jesus announced his calling was to “preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners,  recovery of sight to the blind, liberate the oppressed…”

God has often chosen ordinary people to carry on the work of redemption and reconciliation in the world. Just look at the people He chose to be his closest associates. Ordinary people.

Advent 12

Last Sunday was the Second Sunday of Advent. The lectionary scripture was the announcement of the angel Gabriel to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38). Ave Maria is the musical setting of the Latin text which was originally published in 1853.

Mary was young in a world where age was venerated. She was poor in a world that belonged to the rich. She was a woman in a world where gender equity was not even an afterthought. In every sense she was an ordinary individual. But Gabriel said, “You are highly favored. The Lord is with you.”

We see ordinary people throughout the Advent Season as we prepare to celebrate the birthday of our Savior. John  the Baptist came as a “voice in the wilderness” calling for people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. Eugene Peterson’s The Message says, “His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings.”

Shepherd

As we come nearer to Christmas Day we meet an anonymous inn keeper who provided a place away from the chaos of the moment for Mary to give birth to Jesus. Then we encounter the shepherds. As they “watched their flocks by night” God revealed to them that a child born in their nearby town was the Savior of the world, the Messiah. These ordinary people were perhaps the first to see the Christ Child.

Poh Fang Chia, writing in Our Daily Bread said, “Today, God is still calling ordinary people to do His work and assuring us that He will be with us as we do. Because we are ordinary people being used by God, it’s obvious that the power comes from God and not from us.” The devotional for July 8, 2015 ends with a prayer that is appropriate as we make our way through Advent. “Lord, I am just an ordinary person, but You are an all-powerful God. I want to serve You. Please show me how and give me the strength.”

Jamie Jenkins

 

Andrew Young 3

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.

Andrew Young 2

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