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 Inspirational and thought-provoking messages informed by my faith, ministry in education and community development 

Dr. Flowers' Blog

Archive for the "WID-WID" Category

UNMUTE Day - November 3, 2020

October 29, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Without doubt this season of the pandemic has given new meaning to our ways and words. Air hugs, elbow bumps and face coverings are all common place in our day to day interactions. A new meaning has been given to a very familiar word; the word mute or muted is uttered thousands of times a day. Had this word been practiced more throughout the history of humankind the world would have more civility, fewer arguments and even a lower divorce rate. In conference calls and conversations when a person is muted accidentally, it is appropriate for them to apologize saying “I was muted.” 

As we move towards our nations UNMUTE day, apologies are not acceptable. “I was muted” or “I was on mute” will not fly! You will be either in the _ _ ted or _ _ ted category. VOTED or MUTED. For far too long many have been complacent and complicit and through their silence or mute status. Every eligible American citizen needs to be intentional in avoiding the benign, blunder of not participating in the National Unmute Day by November 3rd. As the St. Philip’s creed states, I have the voice. The consequences I will accept for I made the choicehttps://youtu.be/jBgTI8_ZKSY

Muted vs Voted? If it is to be it’s up to me.

 “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmond Burke.

Allow your Faith to be your Fuel
+erry Flowers

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The Revival of MySpace 

September 29, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

You don’t have to be a social media guru to have some recollection of the very popular platform for electronic networking and communication, MySpace. I can now safely admit to my three daughters that I found myself in circumstances where I was compelled to dive into MySpace to spy on them to keep myself informed of their activities, communications, and ways of thinking. The things we do under the classification of parental duty!?!? 

MySpace of old may be irrelevant as such a tool today. I have no idea as to whether it even still exists. Yet, for this WID-WID I want to touch on a MySpace that is very present in our lives today. This year has me - and most of us - re-examining spatial distancing along with washing of hands and being conscience and considerate of surroundings. Like most, I am not only protective of my space but also selective about who enters my zone and what environments I place myself in. With COVID-19, it has been said that some of the practices we are using such as handwashing, protecting sneezes and coughs should have been practiced prior to the pandemic and should continue forever. 

The concerning times we are in are not just pandemic related. In America, we have another “My Space” opportunity as it relates to race. We have frustrated African Americans, concerned, confused, and in some cases enlightened Caucasians attempting to live in the same space. On both sides the tension leads to a familiar question of “What can I do?” This sincere question is one that should not be asked of others. In fact, many African Americans become frustrated when someone white asks a black person what they can do. (For the record, feel free to ask me, just be prepared for the discussion). The question of “What can I do?” whether you are black or white is a question you should ask yourself. 

Like Michael Jackson’s song ”Man in the Mirror” (click here to hear the song and see the official video), each of us have to individually take steps to make a change, just as we do in assessing and evaluating our environment.

It’s time for us to place a new lens on “My Space.” In looking in the mirror, am I allowing contaminants and contaminators to dwell in my presence? In my company? Do I connect with those who I know are approaching me with un-sanitized intentions? Do I remove the practices and conditions? Do I model in “My Space” before my children, friends, and even relatives, deep authentic relationships with a diverse group of people who have symptomatic manifestations of God’s love? 

If you like what you see in your “My Space” mirror, perhaps your “2020 My Space” is as relevant as the social media platform was when it was launched in 2003. If you are not pleased that the image looking back at you is on target in embracing and promoting the oneness of humankind, take some steps. Your next steps: make decisions, approve policies, extend invitations, invest dollars, worship, and live differently.

Allow your Faith to be your Fuel
+erry Flowers

Posted in WID-WID

Some Never Equals ALL

July 27, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

You may be familiar with the quote “some is not a number and soon is not a time.” It speaks to the uncertainty of two words that start with “s.” If we are honest with ourselves, there are times in life like today when the ambiguities of “some” brings us discomfort. Clearly economic crisis, political corruption and turmoil, climate change, poverty, inequality, racial strife, and the devaluing of human life can all be unsettling. 

Despite ALL of these circumstances and more, there is The Good News for some of us. In fact, it is more than news, it is a promise that keeps me and others from becoming overwhelmed amidst crisis, injustice, pandemics, and even death. Because of it, in the time of sorrow we do not weep as though we have no hope. We can manifest what many perceive to be a peculiar optimism in troubling times. Our faith is affirmed by certainty of promise that replaces the doubt of “some” with the assurance of ALL. 
 
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (KJV). ALL things, ALL things, ALL things!!! Every sickness, road block, every set back, and yes even the 17 deaths of loved ones for my family in the last twelve months (three to COVID-19), is included in the ALL that’s working together for my good.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 (KJV) 

A point of clarification in order! Scripture says, to them that love God. It suggests the possibility of exceptionalism. Do you love God? If the answer is yes, you are halfway there. “He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:16 (KJV) 
Simon is asked a third time about his love for God as a reminder of the calling and purpose God had issued to His followers. Feed My Sheep.

Loving God AND doing His will provides you a bridge over troubled waters where poverty, prosecution, policies, preachers nor politics, even pandemics, and ALL things work together for your good.

As we solidify our protocols, adapt our facilities, staffing, and instructional delivery for the reopening of school, I want to encourage the faithful lovers of God who are doing His will; our faculty and staff, our parents, and especially our children. 

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

As Simon was being reminded THREE times: If we love God, let’s act like it.  ALL does not equal some. ALL is not a number because God’s power is without limit. Had His word said “some,” He would’ve also given us a spirit of fear.

Be Encouraged
+erry Flowers
Allow Your Faith to be Your Fuel

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Love Matters

June 17, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Previously published July 18, 2019, still relevant during this time of pandemic and protests.

Good morning God,

Lord we come to you amidst troubling times. Lord help us to apologize to our children.  Help us to request their forgiveness for our failure to figure out how to live as fellow humans on earth as it is in Heaven. Lord forgive us for missing the mark sixty years ago when we inadequately pivoted as a nation towards tolerance for one another when we should have embraced LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.

Give us this day God as an opportunity to understand LOVE MATTERS. We know this truth to be comprehensive of the value of every life. Help us God to deliver YOUR message to our children during these troubling and seemingly uncertain times. “Love will prevail”one way or another. As it is proclaimed in 1John 4 v 8: You are Love.

God, as we navigate through week after week of turmoil and hardening of hearts please cause us to edit our individual souls to the extent that causes us to live our lives in a way that results in our going to funerals or weddings and not know the ethnicity of the deceased or the couple by the faces nor skin colors of those in the audience because LOVE MATTERS. Let us make sure that no longer can a Caucasian, Latina or African American child be born and make it to adulthood and authentically be able to say they know of no person(s) from other races that truly love them.

God, move us away from using Google as “gospel”and allowing social media to be the dominant source that informs our perceptions of humanity. Let us lean not unto our own faulty understanding but by understanding that LOVE MATTERS.

God help us to embrace and engage each other on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

S+ay Blessed,

+erry Flowers

Allow your Faith to be Your Fuel 

Posted in WID-WID

The Light Remains

June 01, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

 As our nation continues its experimental journey of ethnicities from across the world for humanity to Love Mercy while perfecting God’s desire for us to Do Justice let us turn to scripture.

John 1:5 The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

It is likely that you are like me...In all the times I have encountered this scripture I failed to notice the words The Light are capitalized. God is The Light and worthy of being capitalized, not just in print but in and through our living. 

In our current struggle against injustice, inequality, poverty, and in our quest for equity let us not be deceived. Our nation and the world is encountering undeniable darkness however, The Light remains. The truth is, The Light is within those who have accepted Him. Accordingly, we must not be guilty of allowing the perception that darkness (lowercase d) is overcoming The Light. We are responsible for not allowing the negatives to overwhelm the goodness that abounds us.

Let us demonstrate a ‘Hallelujah Anyhow’ lifestyle amidst the folly, frustrations, and faults that are constantly celebrated and elevated through media. We must continue to proclaim the goodness that overwhelmingly dominates the evil that perpetuates a faulty victory.

I am reminded of a homily from one of our daily chapel services. Dirt was placed in a clear cylinder. A little water was poured in with the dirt and kids were invited drink. Everyone declined. As more and more water was poured in, the presence of the dirt was no longer apparent and the willingness to partake increased. Finally, the presenter drank the water! The message was that dirt represented evil and water was like God’s goodness which cleanses that which is perceived to cause hurt harm and danger.

Let us do our part as we are a part of The Light and darkness has no chance of overtaking us.

S+ay Blessed,

+erry Flowers

Allow your Faith to be Your Fuel 

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A Mother's Love, Lessons and Labor

May 09, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

As we approach Mother’s Day, I am reminded of the saying that goes like this....

To have a child is to forever have a piece of your heart walking around outside of your body.

I am also reminded that next to a mother's love the most valuable gift we receive from them are lessons. For many of us, these are lessons that endure the tests of time. They stay with us generations later and trickle down to our children and fan out to those that we come in contact with. This weekend some will be fortunate to have their mothers physically with them and others will be blanketed by the spiritual presence of their mothers.

Whether your mom is still here or has gone on ahead of you to glory you are still a piece of her heart walking around outside of her. Her lessons of the past are looking upon you and they are hoping that you are rooted in the righteous virtues she tried to instill in you. 

As we move into a Mother’s Day unlike any we have ever experienced with a pandemic commanding the attention of the world let us all go back to the old landmarks of the love, lessons, and labor they sacrificed on our behalf. Let us dive into the deep well of precious memories that helped to form that which is good in us. Let us use the gifts of goodness that were grafted from loving mothers to help guide us through these uncertain and uncomfortable times.

Just as we found peace like none other when we were cradled in the bosom of our mother’s arms let us now seek solace in THE COMFORTER in this time of confusion, distrust, struggle, suffering, selfishness, and strife.

I am reminded of a line from a song my mother sang in the choir and later remixed by late greats Al Green and Aretha Franklin...

“The Lord will make a way somehow “

None of us know exactly what lies ahead of this turbulent time but just as my mother would assure her five children during troubling times, I say to all who are Believers......... The Lord will make a way out of no way.

 

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GOD Winks, Whispers and Whips

April 01, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Some of you are probably like me. 
    
There may have been times in your life in which you undoubtedly knew that God was sending you a signal.
    
You may have had total certainty that HE was giving you a message and sometimes even a warning.
    
I have grown in my relationship with GOD to the extent that I now label those occasions as being God winks.
    
In fact, as time has gone on my interpretation has been enhanced. 
    
For me God not only provides me winks, but HE also whispers in my ear giving me discernment, caution, patience, guidance and courage. 
    
I will also admit that God not only winks, whispers, he also whips me when the wink and whisper don’t get my attention! 
 
Given all that’s going on in our country and across the world with the pandemic I am convinced that our Lord and Savior is still in control and what we are experiencing are winks whispers and whips. 
    
Just as the students of St Philip's, many kids are in the midst of distance-learning. I am reminded that God is the ultimate teacher he is teaching remotely, internally and constantly. Could his message be one to nudge us towards being kinder to each other respectful of our differences less of a divided humanity? Is HIS individualized instruction to you distant or is it up close and personal?
    
It was once said that America responds to an apparent threat. My prayer is that we will respond to the winks, and the whispers to avoid the whipping.

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God has not brought us this far to leave us.

March 17, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Some of you know my mom was a traveling gospel singer for many years.Implanted within my DNA are the lyrics from church and some of the recordings of the gospel group she sang with.

That DNA is repeatedly activated amidst times of joy and times of turbulence. Given what our environment and the world is confronted with in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic one of those songs from the past seems to be an appropriate reminder.

“I don’t feel no ways tired. I’ve come too far from where He’s brought me from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy. I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.”

God has not brought us this far to leave us. There is much for us to learn and grow from in this time of tragedy and uncertainty. Let us allow our faith to be our fuel! He has not left us nor forsaken us.

For those who have faith …………………….. since you have it, then ACT LIKE it.

Posted in WID-WID

God and Rock, Paper, Scissors

March 06, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

St. Philip’s students will tell you we are a school where it is okay to pray and……make an “A”
We are privileged to be able to welcome God into our learning environment. We begin every day with a worship service that simply places focus on God’s love for all people. Chapel informs our motivations, inspiration, discipline and love for humanity.

Current and former students can fondly recall a special feature of Chapel called the God’s gift box. Every Monday the homily for Chapel is connected to some items of thing that is placed inside this mysterious box. Student volunteers (sometime voluntold) open the box which has held things that crawl, things no longer living or even things to eat!

The challenge for the students is being subjected (expected by their on looking peers to take on the directed task associated with the contents of the God’s gift box!

For the benefit of those of you who have never attended Chapel at St. Philips this WID-WID is about our March 9th 8:30am Chapel Service.

The God’s Gift Box will be there. Don’t tell our students….but inside the God’s gift box will be a sheet of paper, a pair of scissors and a rock. Students will be called upon to open the box and answer questions about its contents. The students will be led to the game, most will be familiar with it, but our youngest pre-K students will be introduced for the first time. They will learn the game and then confront the question, “What does rock, paper, scissor have to do with God?”
Most of the readers of WID-WID can formulate the answers. Others can attend the service on March 9th or watch it live-streamed at www.livestream.com/stphilips1600

We will unpack the parallel and tie it with God’s word. Our Chapel services are available on our website made possible by The morning star Family Foundation in honor of Darvin and Mary Jane Shields.

Posted in WID-WID

Google Ain’t God

March 05, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

GAG----The Internet and God
It is possible that you have heard me use improper English. On the occasion of this WID-WID my misuse is intentional. Google Ain’t Gospel. This is a phrase I find myself using more and more frequently when people are basing their truth solely on something the lifted from a flash across the screen of their device. When I tell people Google Ain’t Gospel I am suggesting that some things about technology are not reliable.

Ironically this WID-WID does not focus on the lack of reliability but rather the certainty of technology. I am not an information technology expert. I, however, am comfortable in saying that Google is not Gospel; yet the internet does have a similarity of God. Once you are born into this world God is always with you; although you might not always be with Him. You may not see Him or believe in His omnipresence, but He is there. Similarly, your interactions with technology and information never totally vanish. Let the words of your mouth, the meditation of your heart and clicks on your device be acceptable in His sight.

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A New Score Do Not Miss It!

January 01, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Greetings in the matchless, mighty and magnificent name of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST! As we move deeper into 2020, we have an opportunity to reflect on God’s decision to not have last night be our last night. He left us here at this appointed time.

This is a time to reflect not just on a new year but a new DECADE. In fact, for most of us, it is a NEW SCORE! You recall Lincoln’s famous delivery “four scores and seven years ago,” four scores represented 80 meaning four units of twenty years.
 
Today and this year join me as I thank God for the NEW SCORE.  I ask His forgiveness for all the times when I have not looked deep enough into His Blessings to fully embrace how awesome He has been. This is not just a celebration of another year. 
 
Join me in welcoming more of God’s awesomeness over our lives and families. Let’s invite him to shock us in outrageous ways with His Grace, Mercy, and Favor.
 
Let’s thank him for this SCORE and more to come! 
  
Seeking Christ’s Outrageous Revelations Evidenced 
 
I pray unto you many heavenly scores of all forms to come.

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Please take no offense!

December 20, 2019
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In no way am I being critical of God’s dispatchers of his will for humanity. The teachings of Ghandi, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others encouraged us to see the goodness inside of others. Experience has taught us that quite often goodness in humans is hard to see.

We must go beyond trying to see goodness, we must seek Godness in our fellow humans. We must undertake this charge knowing God creates every human with the DNA of goodness inside of them. We must recognize that societal market forces have a way of hardening the soul and it generates a centering around self. Do not focus on doing Good works………….do God works. Doing HIS works requires you to take off your halo.

Doing Good vs God work!

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The Math of Christmas

December 11, 2019
By Dr. Terry Flowers

As we move into the celebration of Christmas, I would like to issue a challenging math problem that most people fail to consider regarding the birth of Jesus Christ. Most of the responses to the question; “What is Christmas about?” are related to gifts, the birth of Jesus and God sending His son. All of these responses are substantially relevant; however here is the Christmas math problem our students wrestled with in Chapel.

0 forgiveness = 0 Peace

Simply put, you cannot go in peace without forgiveness; especially forgiveness of yourself. As you move into celebration of the Prince of Peace, let us remember God sent His Son so that we have a path of forgiveness for our sins. Without His forgiveness, we cannot receive peace. Just as our gift from God is forgiveness let us forgive others and ourselves in order to experience God’s peace.

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Spelling Bee

December 01, 2019
By Dr. Terry Flowers

This year a 4th-grade male and 5th-grade female battled a record 20 round run-off to determine this year’s winner of St. Philip’s Spelling Bee. Watching this year’s final rounds of the Spelling Bee gave me a flashback. 

One of my most vivid elementary school experiences involves a heated competition in 2nd-grade. My teacher had divided the class into groups to square off in a math competition. In this battle, teams had to be the first to respond to math questions. After several rounds, the competition came down to two teams of four out of the dozens who were in the class. To say the atmosphere was one of excitement was an understatement. Even the teams that had been eliminated had selected sides to cheer on. My team was in the finals! This is when I was publicly called out by one of my classmates who were on the opposing finals team.

One might assume the Spelling Bee competition caused my flashback; that is partially true. The full truth is connected to one of St. Philip’s mantras, “it’s okay to pray and make an A”. During the Spelling Bee that was held in our Morning Star Chapel, kids were praying. Praying for success, praying for their classmates and for kids who had just been eliminated. When I pressed rewind, my memory flooded me with the 2nd-grade experience as if it were today. I landed smack dab in the middle of a math competition where I was called out when my team was up to respond. The teacher was preparing to give us the question when everything screeched to a stop! A classmate pointing at me, yelled out, “NOT FAIR! HE IS PRAYING! All eyes focused on me, including the teacher’s eyes.

Indeed, I was praying. Praying for my team’s success. The look from the teacher made me think I was in violation as did the look of my accuser. My anticipation of victory was transformed into uncertainty as to whether I had committed a major violation. Little did I know that when I entered kindergarten two years earlier, the Supreme court had ruled that prayer in public schools would no longer be permissible. Like the students here at St. Philip’s, I was saying a prayer and the thought of that being unacceptable never occurred to me. The privilege to pray is both encouraged and celebrated at St. Philip’s. The notion that as a country we would uninvite God to any place, specifically a school would puzzle our students as it did me back in second grade. Our daily worship on occasion initiates with all saying, “Holy Spirit you are welcome in this place.” Then the caller says, “The Lord be with you” and the responders say “Also with you.” St. Philip’s is a place where “You Belong” and God is with us.

Posted in WID-WID

Take No Credit

April 01, 2019
By Dr. Terry Flowers

I will admit it! I did not get to watch much of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  From a couple of games I partially watched, one play resonates with me.  Actually, it was not the play but what happened after that inspires this WID WID.  

The play involved Zion Williamson, one of the star players for Duke University.  After making an amazing pass, the cameras zoomed in on Williamson who was staring at his hand with an expression of disbelief on his face.  His reaction was one of astonishment that his hand made this incredible pass.  He acted as though he was giving the credit to his hand and not himself.  Although, his reaction was likely for the theatrics, that visual spoke to me.  

In a world where we can find self-aggrandizement from the highest to the lowest ranks of human existence, we need more people to assume the practice of taking no credit.  This was the point stressed to our students in one of our chapel services (https://livestream.com/stphilips1600).  In that chapel, credit cards were cut up with scissors after discussion about how credit works. The message was to give credit where credit is due.  Resist taking credit; especially for things you are not ultimately responsible.  

To God be the Glory for the things He has done!  While it is admirable for a superstar athlete to model disbelief in their talent and deflect credit away from their self, at St. Philip’s, we also encourage our students to look at their hands to place credit. Unlike Zion Williamson looking at his one hand, we urge our students to look at both hands.  Both hands in the position of prayer… Giving credit to God for successes and accomplishments rather than taking any credit.

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Why God?

April 01, 2018
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In a recent meeting on the campus of St. Philip's School and Community Center, I found myself speechless. I was hit with a simple question - "After all these years with St. Philip's, what are you most proud of?" Although a seemingly basic question, I could not answer it then and honestly cannot answer it now. 

When the question was raised, my mind swept through countless educational achievements made through the School. I flashed through the immeasurable impact on lives we have made through our Community Center by addressing youth development, hunger, safety, senior services, and urban revitalization. I reflected on the mighty sacrifices of our parents, volunteers, and supporters who labor to make the ministry of St. Philip's a possibility for the children and adults we serve.

After this meeting, I found myself asking God a question. "God, I have been here all these years, why couldn't I point to the one thing I am most proud of? Why God? Why?"

I love God and His simplicity. While driving home after an extremely long day, His answer came. "Terry, you were not able to answer that question because the thing for you to be most proud of has not happened yet!  In my plan for St. Philip's, the best is yet to come."

This answered prayer reminds me of a chant from several of our daily chapel services, "Good, better, best...don't stop until your GOOD gets BETTER and your better gets BEST."

Truly, in God's ultimate plan for us, the greatest things we have encountered are not the greatest things we will encounter. 
 

Posted in WID-WID

Turn your mirror into a window!

February 01, 2018
By Dr. Terry Flowers

The students of St. Philip’s School and Community Center immediately identify with the concept of converting the images of what they see in the mirror into opportunities for them to empower themselves to take action towards change and advancements. Their St. Philip’s Creed echoes this responsibility with ten simple words “If it is to be, it is up to me.” They are also taught to encourage others to acknowledge the God given powers within them to tackle the political, social, ethical, and environmental ills that confront our world. 

Unlike our students today, many of us may recall lyrics from one of Michael Jackson’s songs, “I’m Starting with the Man in the Mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways.” No message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change. 

The challenges before our world and especially our country are greater than ever before. Looking at what confronts us and the uncertainty of it all can be daunting. This is especially true for those who lack the faith. 

The ministry of St. Philip’s School & Community Center provides an unparalleled response to student academic achievement and comparable social services leading to our position as a neighborhood change agent here in South Dallas. We have not been overcome by the blight of poverty, apathy nor adverse political climates. We have been able to press on through the tireless faith in THE TRUTH. 

Turn your mirror into a window. In doing so, you will find that when you change the way you look at things, you’ll change the way things look. This is the true value of our schools emphasis on innovation and our quest to produce though leaders and thought challengers. Students who think and are not thought for. 

Posted in WID-WID

Why God?

January 01, 2018
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In a recent meeting on the campus of St. Philip’s School and Community Center, I found myself speechless. I was hit with a simple question – “After all these years with St. Philip’s, what are you most proud of?” Although a seemingly basic question, I could not answer it then and honestly cannot answer it now. 

When the question was raised, my mind swept through countless educational achievements made through the School. I flashed through the immeasurable impact on lives we have made through our Community Center by addressing youth development, hunger, safety, senior services, and urban revitalization. I reflected on the mighty sacrifices of our parents, volunteers, and supporters who labor to make the ministry of St. Philip’s a possibility for the children and adults we serve. 
After this meeting, I found myself asking God a question. “God, I have been here all these years, why couldn’t I point to the one thing I am most proud of? Why God? Why?”

I love God and His simplicity. While driving home after an extremely long day, His answer came. “Terry, you were not able to answer that question because the thing for you to be most proud of has not happened yet!  In my plan for St. Philip’s, the best is yet to come.” 

This answered prayer reminds me of a chant from several of our daily chapel services, “Good, better, best…don’t stop until your GOOD gets BETTER and your better gets BEST.”
Truly, in God’s ultimate plan for us, the greatest things we have encountered are not the greatest things we will encounter. 

Posted in WID-WID

On Earth As It Is…

July 18, 2016
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Good morning God,
 
Lord we come to you amidst troubling times. Lord help us to apologize to our children.  Help us to request their forgiveness for our failure to figure out how to live as fellow humans on earth as it is in Heaven. Lord forgive us for missing the mark sixty years ago when we inadequately pivoted as a nation towards tolerance for one another when we should have embraced LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.
 
Give us this day God as an opportunity to understand LOVE MATTERS. We know this truth to be comprehensive of the value of every life. Help us God to deliver YOUR message to our children during these troubling and seemingly uncertain times. “Love will prevail” one way or another. As it is proclaimed in 1 John 4 v 8: You are Love.
 
God, as we navigate through week after week of turmoil and hardening of hearts please cause us to edit our individual souls to the extent that causes us to live our lives in a way that results in our going to funerals or weddings and not know the ethnicity of the deceased or the couple by the faces nor skin colors of those in the audience because LOVE MATTERS. Let us make sure that no longer can a Caucasian, Latina or African American child be born and make it to adulthood and authentically be able to say they know of no person(s) from other races that truly love them.
 
God, move us away from using Google as “gospel” and allowing social media to be the dominant source that informs our perceptions of humanity. Let us lean not unto our own faulty understanding but by understanding that LOVE MATTERS.
 
God help us to embrace and engage each other on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

Posted in WID-WID

If Success is Earned, Is Failure Free? 

April 01, 2016
By Dr. Terry Flowers

The most disturbing response about school I receive from children around the country comes when I ask a simple question: “How are you doing in school and how are your grades?” The common response I receive is: “I am passing or I passed.”  And it’s almost always given in a matter of fact tone.  (Mind you, I’ve never received such a response from a St. Philip’s student or graduate.)
It troubles me to see such a consistent lack of academic aggressiveness and intellectual pursuit in so many children and youth. They still haven’t connected their grades with future success. 

As we wrap up another academic year for schools across the country, I can’t help reflecting on how costly academic failure is to our country. More disturbing is the mediocrity that seems to be shredding the fabric of our society. 

Additionally, as we approach the summer, thousands of children will experience devastating summer learning loss due to a lack of academic enrichment opportunities. At St. Philip’s, we work to combat this issue through our summer programming. More institutions in our community and country should focus on the same. It’s a critical investment that we can’t afford to ignore or overlook. 

“Passing” should never be the single target or goal for students as the “just passing” standard only promises to let life pass you by.  That’s a price too big for our children and society to pay. 

Failure is not free. 

Posted in WID-WID

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