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Disconnection

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 11:19 AM Comments comments (172)
               Disconnection 

Marcus LaceweIl 

Throughout our lives, we see and learn that we lose everything that we love. How we handle that loss decides the affects of that loss. Many try to hold on to that loss (ex. Trying to return to a characteristic that you possessed in high school). This attempt to hold on allows the loss to become a problem.
Most of the time, we fail to realize that we possess characteristics that helps us in our current situations. So, trying to hold on to or revisit our past characteristics prevents us from reaching new experiences in our lives. Also, trying to reach those past characteristics causes us to miss the help for our current situations.
When Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt, the Red Sea represented the disconnection from their problem: Pharaoh.  They came out, but Pharaoh did not. Often, we need some type of event to occur in order for us to disconnect from our problems, other than the death of Jesus.  My accident was that event for me.  I was unconscious when the ambulance arrived.  I was told that I 'flat-lined' a few times, requiring them to revive me. To me, this was my Red Sea.  My mind-set, at the time, was my problem.  When I 'flat-lined' I was revived, not my problem.  Unlearn.

Romans 6:18- Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

3of3 from 1998

Posted on February 13, 2016 at 3:04 PM Comments comments (23)
Can You Stand the Rain?
BY: Marcus Lacewell

No matter what type of life one lives thunderstorms will be a common occurrence, in their lifetime. Many people see rain as being a burden, but, in reality, it can be a blessing, upon all of us. We must look at each shower as being an aid to overcome the next. In major storms, it is natural to feel that finding shelter is hopeless, when every raindrop feels worse than the, overall, storm. I have found that no one can survive EVERY storm alone, no matter how much rain one feels that they can stand.   Everyone needs a helping hand from a "brother," to provide a guide to shelter. Everyone is different. This is why some people have not survived to see another glimmer of sunshine. This doesn't make them any weaker then another, they just allowed their puddles to get deep. For, there are ways to stop the rain and bring out the sun again.
Many are told, but few recognize, that wisdom falls with every drop of rain. This wisdom gives one shelter when similar storms come. It seems that the wisest people have been in the most thunderstorms, but that is not always true. Foolish "men" may have been through the same showers, but his faith does not allow him to see the difference between the rain and the wisdom, as they fall. This is when we continue to get caught in the same storms without noticing their similarities. Then, we begin to lose faith in ourselves, to be able to overcome any storms. As this happens, we begin to forget how the sun feels. From that point, puddles begin to form around us. We, all, need the shelter of our "brother." It is known that many people feel that this help is not needed and that they can survive on their own. But, as the storms continue and the puddle begin to form, they accept their "brother's" shelter not knowing that their puddles may already be too deep. One must not allow their pride to take them to this point. Unfortunately, many believe that pride is always a shelter, but sometimes pride blinds us from the wisdom that falls, with each storm. When one's pride steps in the way, of this wisdom, one begins to be led to storms that were never meant to be felt. Everyone holds a piece of the key that unlocks the door to everlasting sunshine. Those who guide their "brothers," and are not afraid to be guided, are assisting in the formation of this key. Through this, they are gaining knowledge of ways to overcome storms that they have not yet encountered.
It is natural to have happiness and faith when the sun glimmers on our lives, but will you still have that faith and happiness when the storms come. No one will escape the rain, so prepare your mind for the showers, that life brings, and keep your eyes open for the wisdom that they hold. Everyone loves sunny days, but one question remains. Can you stand the rain?

2of3 from 1998

Posted on February 13, 2016 at 2:58 PM Comments comments (33)

Good Guy
By:  Marcus Lacewell

I can't believe this guy just shot me.  I guess he thought I was someone else.  I always knew I would die some day.  I just thought it would happen when I was much older and not at twenty. I thought I was going to have more time, because I was a good guy.  I was just raised in a bad place.  I wonder where the good people of bad places go when they die?  This is something I always wondered.  Is it my fault that I grew up around all the wrong things?  Is it my fault that I had to wrong things just to survive?  Is it my fault that many of the things that I was taught was alright turned out to be wrong?  I was always the good guy in my neighborhood.
Most people around me were drunks, drug addicts, thieves, murderers, or just did nothing with their lives, but I never fell into their traps.  Most of the time I was the one who tried to talk them out of such things.  I still hung out with them though, but that was nothing bad.  I drunk every now and then, but I guess it was alright because my parents and all my friends' parents did it. In fact, just about everyone in my neighborhood did it.  I was taught that it wasn't really wrong unless I let it take over my life, like mister Williams up the street.  Even Jesus himself drunk a little wine.  Well, that's what I heard on one of those bible channels once when the cable was out.  I knew this was right because everybody I knew was taught the same thing.
I always worked for the things I got.  Many people in my neighborhood sold drugs for a living.  It seemed like a legitimate job. Besides, it brought in more money then the jobs my parents had.  But like I said, I was a good guy, I didn't do things like that.  I was always taught that if anyone, I mean anyone, disrespected me I better fight for my respect, and if I lost I had a beating waiting for me when I got home.  I knew this had to be right because everybody I knew was taught the same thing.  I use to take my mom to work in the car I brought from my friend.  He sold drugs so he gave it to me real cheap, since he had a lot of money anyway.  I didn't have a license, but I knew how to drive, and my mom had to get to work.
Getting robbed was a normal thing in my neighborhood, and sometimes people would get killed in the process.  At parties people would get in fights and they normally ended in gun fire so I had a gun to protect myself with.  I knew there was nothing wrong with that.  I was just protecting myself.  I was usually the one who tried to brake things up.  Sometimes I even put my life on the line for my friends.  That's just how I am.  Besides, I'm a good guy.

I always give encouragement and advice to my friends so they will not make any major mistakes that will harm them.  They expected this from me because they knew I was a good guy.  I did just about every thing with them.  I was always taught not to be scared of anything, even death, so it was normal for me to do things like standing up to someone with a gun, driving drunk, and other life threatening things.  I knew this couldn't be wrong because everybody I knew did the same thing.
I always hated the people who called me a bad person.  I knew I was a good guy.  Besides, they didn't know me.  They grew up in a whole different environment.  I know they weren't taught the same things I was taught.  They just knew me from what they saw.  They didn't know me personally.  I made good grades in school just like them.  I worked just like them.  I didn't do the bad things that the bad people in my neighborhood did.  I'm a good guy.  Everyone outside of my neighborhood looks at me as a bad guy.  The police says I'm bad, but I'm not.  If it wasn't for me a lot of people could be dead,  robbed, or even hurt, but I talked many people out of causing such harm.  Why did people look at me this way.  I did what I was suppose to do.  I did what I had to do to survive.  They didn't have to go through what I went through everyday.  I never left my neighborhood because they said I was a bad guy, and they continued to keep me from success. They wouldn't even let me get a good job.  So I guess all I had was my neighborhood, and there I knew I was still good.  But now I guess it doesn't matter.  My time is up.  I wonder what God thinks.  I wonder how I will be judged.  Will He see me as a good guy or a bad one.  I wish that I could come back and tell my friends after I find out.  If I was a bad guy the whole time what was the point of being good.

1of3 that I wrote in 1998, before my accident.

Posted on February 13, 2016 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (25)
On My Block     By :  Marcus Lacewell

I used to feel that bad habits shouldn't be discussed. There was a time when bad habits had total control over me.  "The block" became a regular hang out spot for me around the age sixteen.  When night fell, everyone would congregate like Sunday morning service, the collection plate would make its rounds, but everyone knew that no one was going to be saved.  Instead of the money going to good causes, it went to Everclear, Gin, Hennessey, and several other "problem solvers."  Normal people went to their church to solve problems, but I guess our church only made my problems worse.
It was normal to see everyone dancing drunkenly in the streets while Tupac and Master P sang in the choir.  You were considered dumb if you didn't already have your "goods" stashed; just in case the police came around.  Everyone still kept their eyes out for "customers."  I never had my own business, but I knew how to operate one if I had to.
I thought that my habit would never leave me, but at one point in time I began to think differently.  It all started when my friend Mike was shot by a customer.  Mike was a loyal member of our nightly congregation.  He went to a lot of the same places and did a lot of the same things I did.  Because of this, I began to feel that the same thing that happened to Mike, could happen to me.  Even though this had a big effect on me, I still went to my nightly services.  Just as things seemed to return to
normal, my friend Shawn was arrested.  This is when I realized I was only a good guy in my neighborhood, but in my community I was still a villain.  Because of the friends I had, people outside of my neighborhood would always look at me as a bad guy.  The things that we did, such as drinking, were not considered bad to us because my parents and all of my friends parents did it.  It was only considered bad if you let it take over your life, like Mr. Williams down the street.

As my Senior year came to a close, I began to realize that most members of the congregation were high school drop-outs or graduates who never excelled.  I knew from that point, I didn't want to be a member for life.  If I did, I would be another victim like Shawn or Mike, so I decided that I
 wanted to go to college.  When I first got to college, I went home every weekend to attend services, but as I saw more friends fall, I found myself occasionally missing "church."  The more services I missed, the more my friends teased me.  I would normally hear things like "Why didn't you come home last weekend, you too good to chill with the fellas."  Someone else would say "Don't forget where you came from, you'll always be like us."  I knew, and they knew, that this was just teases.  I knew the change wouldn't be easy, so the teases didn't really bother me.  Besides, we had all grown to be close to each other. It was like a big family, and that was the way we all felt.  I knew that they respected this change because this was my family, and that's how we'll always be.

Now that I'm in college, the habit seems to be gone.  When I
go home, I find myself going to "service", but for different reasons.  Instead of giving my offerings to Everclear, Gin, and Hennessey I offer my words of encouragement to my fellow members. I may have not totally done away with my bad habit,but I have overcome it.  The only thing I can do is hope that the rest of my congregation has the opportunity to overcome the same habit.



Smart Smoothies

Posted on April 18, 2015 at 12:02 PM Comments comments (32)
I was in a disabling motorcycle accident. The doctors said that I would never walk, or think for myself ever again...
Marcus Lacewell’s yellow Smart Car catches the eye as you drive past Lacewell’s Smart Smoothies on Market St. and Kerr Ave.  His camper is set up six days a week.
Marcus is a numbers guy, the “smart kid” who spent time tutoring others and pursued an engineering education at NC State.  Then tragedy struck-
But eventually, Marcus began again, enrolling at Cape Fear Community College.  “I wanted to see where my head was at." He finished CFCC with strong grades, and enrolled again at NCSU.
Marcus is a fit person, very smart and well-educated.  Marcus knows that he no longer looks like a typical tutor.  “I can see it from your side,” he says. “I can still tutor, but I know that someone on the outside looking at me, might not expect that from me.  I’m also an athletic recruiter, but I know I don’t look like I could be.”  It’s this hard reality that helped Marcus come up with the idea of something he could do.  The small space of the smoothie trailer is easier for him to navigate.  And, he can haul the trailer and set up the whole operation by himself. 
Marcus’ smoothies aren’t typical either.  He learned a lot about nutrition during his recovery and now, he sells smoothies that are delicious and good for you.  Along with strawberry, blueberry, pineapple, banana and other fruits, Marcus offers smoothies made from spinach, broccoli and kale, and uses honey, not sugar.
There is nothing easy about Marcus’ daily routine.  It takes him 45 minutes to set up each day and another 45 minutes to strike the trailer each day before he heads home.  But Marcus has already far exceeded the expectations of his doctors, working hard to achieve every milestone.  “I know I have to work harder, and if I’m not where I want to be yet, it’s because I haven’t put in all the work,” he says. His unshakable attitude seems to propel him forward, despite every obstacle in his way.

Destiny

Posted on February 14, 2015 at 8:56 AM Comments comments (10)
Destiny
Marcus Lacewell

Your destiny, normally, comes after a major hardship.  A hardship that is so major that your identiity is tested.  Your identity shows your true self, what truly builds your character.  This seems to be the situaton that most, of your past, tests were preparing you for.  For example,  Jesus began teaching after Satan tested his identity, in the wilderness.  Also, David did not become king until he was tested many times.  After he had a new identity, he fought Goliath.  After, he became king.  He was promised to be king over 20 years prior, but God had to change his identity first.  What is built into your character, that is keeping you from your destiny?  Have you been over-looking tests that has been trying to shape your identity?  Unlearn.

I WILL NOT STAND STILL

Posted on January 3, 2015 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (15)
I WILL NOT STAND STILL
                 Marcus Lacewell

  One day, I heard a man talking with his cane.  He said:
Well Cane, looks like I no longer need you.

Cane:  Come-on man, you need me.  I see how you walk without me, you look like you'll fall any minute.

Man:  I''m not about to fall.  I just have to walk different, now, from the average man.  Besides, I must learn to walk without you.

Cane:  You don't have to be without me  If you don't use me, I'll grow weak  You should still use me.

Man:   My wheelchair said the same thing, but it found someone  else to wheel around.  It is a personal accopishment, of mine, not to need you.

Cane:  Ok, you don't have to use me, just act like you're using me to make me feel needed.

Man:  I didn't act unable when i needed you.  i thought that the goal was to not need you.  Did you forget your purpose?  I'll use you when I need you.

There will always be things that try to mask your work so they don't have to work.   Show your work.  Unlearn.

Past- 1/3 Citizen Today-2/3 Citizen

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (46)
Past- 1/3 Citizen   Today- 2/3 Citizen
 
Marcus Lacewell
 
It is tempting to pretend that minorities on death row share a fate in no way connected to our own, that our treatment of them sounds no echoes beyond the chambers in which they die. Such an illusion is ultimately corrosive, for the reverberations of injustice are not so easily confined. -Justice William Brennan (1987)
 
The Sounds of Racism
Blatant racism is seen and heard too often in courtrooms around the country.  Today there seems to be a U.S. judicial system where black criminals are sent to prison while whites are acquitted.  In death penalty cases, the use of derogatory slurs kindles the flames of prejudice and allows the jury to judge harshly those they wish to scapegoat for the problem of crime. A few examples illustrate the intensity of this racism:
 
¥ "One of you two is gonna hang for this. Since you're the nigger, you're elected." These words were spoken by a Texas police officer to Clarence Brandley, who was charged with the murder of a white high school girl. Brandley was later exonerated in 1990 after ten years on death row.
¥ During the 1997 election campaign for Philadelphia's District Attorney, it was revealed that one of the candidates had produced, as an Assistant D.A., a training video for new prosecutors in which he instructed them about whom to exclude from the jury, noting that "young black women are very bad" on the jury for a prosecutor, and that "blacks from low-income areas are less likely to convict." The training tape also instructed the new recruits on how to hide the racial motivation for their jury strikes.
 
These are a couple of examples that were allowed well-after blacks were considered a full citizen, of America, verses the past's 1/3 of a citizen.   Yet, police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes extrajudicially killed  at least 313  African-Americans in  2012, according to a recent  study. This means a black person was killed by a security officer every 28 hours. The report notes that it's possible that the real number could be much higher.
If this occurs within the sworn oath to protect and serve the citizens, of the U.S., blacks must not be considered a full citizen.  Unlearn.

TWO MASTERS

Posted on October 11, 2014 at 8:47 PM Comments comments (15)
TWO MASTERSMarcus Lacewell  Matthew 6:24 KJV
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else hewill hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
 
Since America’s formation, it has given its citizens the right to pursue happiness.  
With this, citizens have the right to be in any; nonviolent and decent action leading to their happiness. 
Also, America has always promised to always base its laws on God’s examples, while providing its citizens with the freedom of religion.  With this, American citizens are free to worship any god and have any religious belief.  This has been exercised, by many, to, publicly, support and refute many laws.   The Bible and Jesus’ words have proven to have the greatest influence on America.
What do you do when your promises contradict?  You will grow to love one and hate the other.  But, America attempts to avoid this by letting the situation determine which promise is loved or hated.  For example, America gives people the right form a romantic relationship with anyone that they choose.  And, it allows states to include gay marriage .into law after the Bible says:
Leviticus 20:13 KJV
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death ; their blood shall be upon them.
 
While, at the same time, America gives people the right to have any religious belief.   Yet, it condones friction against Islam. 
There are many examples.  The judicial branch is still dealing with racism, legislative branch is full of contradictions and the executive branch constantly shows corruption.  It has always seemed that money has the greatest influence on America and not the “In God We Trust” printed on it.  It is not the actions that bother me, besides, who am I to judge another person.  I have my own ‘short-comings.’  Every human has the right of choice.  But, how can America ‘serve’ two masters, but expect to govern without contradictions?  Unlearn.

FREE-WILL

Posted on October 4, 2014 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (21)
FREE-WILL
 
Marcus Lacewell
 
There exists a constant question about humans' ability to have free-will.  God promised that we will make-it to our designed finish line.  He did not promise us how we will get there.  We can easily make-it or barely make-it, but we will get to our designed destination.  We are free to do what we want as long as it does not prevent us from our designed destination.  But, we will never be confronted with that option.  God knows what we will do before we do.  He knew us before we were born.  So, He knows what options not to bring our way.
Let me build a descriptive scenario.  Think of bowling.  The purpose is to knock down pins.  But, the ball must, first, make-it down the lane.  A child has the free-will to bowl any way.  But, to ensure that they make-it, to the pins, they may have rubber rails, preventing their ball from getting too far off course.  With the rails, they may knock down one pin or five.  It depends on how they bowled.
God makes our rails before we are born.  Allowing us the free-will to bowl, through life, any way we want.  But, we WILL make it to our designed destination.  How we make-it depends on us.  Unlearn.