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executing with Belief

by | Dec 25, 2021 | Belief, execute, The Staple Singers

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🖋 Before your day gets off to a roaring start of execution, let me say Merry Christmas!! Filled with lots of traditions that come from Beliefs modeled around you, hopefully, yours are as fun as mine are. Our home had a completely separate living room that was divided from the house with a solid sliding door. Thus access was “limited” until we had gotten completely dressed, had a full breakfast, and then Dad would go in and prepare for our entry – with his light bar of Four Thousand watts…

… to match the film of that generation. All those grainy “old-timey movies” you now see people trying to emulate on Instagram were real for us. Most of our Christmas morning movies start with Janey and I walking through that door and immediately stopping cold, covering our eyes, and complaining about being executed by it being too bright 😉 The camera would then capture things like an Erector Set, Lego’s, mostly arts and crafts projects. One year we all got matching jackets – now they are called “hoodies” and are cool. Ours were bright orange – not even the hunting orange – more like a group of ripe Mango’s walking through the forest when camping. Definitely different…

🎵 Touring through the country was a relentless schedule of execution. Through the south, there were many locations that would not allow The Staples to come into their restaurants, or worse, had a “blacks” entrance. Nope – they would never support that, and simply would drive to a Grocery Store, buy some cold cuts and bread, and have sandwiches in the car. There is one story of Pops driving through Arkansas late at night after a show where they had been paid in cash. He pulled into a gas station, and there was an extended altercation.

They left and drove down the road towards Memphis, and eventually were pulled over. Charges were made of robbing the gas station, with the cash in the trunk as “evidence”. Pops maintained his calm and eventually one of the officers recognized him. “Hey – are you in the Staple Singers?? My wife LOVES your music!!” and the event bled down into a different conversation. The next time they played Memphis, they had a full police escort to the show, and the entire police force attended. They modeled “…in this world, but not of this world” radically.

🖋 The final principle of the early Church that can’t be claimed as either “right” or “left” is always executing with Non-Violence. Or said better, loving everyone with equality as we are all created equal and in His image. Even today we are celebrating a King born as… a baby. Not a ruler in any frame of reference other than Divine. From His birthday forward, there was a different execution approach modeled. One of Non-Violence that was radical for the times then… and now.

I find this one to be challenging every moment. Exactly what does “love” look like? Do you turn the cheek to constant abuse or bad behavior? How do you condone behavior that has negative consequences for some? What stance would help others really see what forgiveness and salvation look like when there is so much real pain and hurt that has been experienced, some of it from The Church? Can you not only tolerate but celebrate those who disagree with you? I often feel more like executing them, not affirming them as another gift from God.

My Beliefs include the verse “Love one another, as you love yourself”… which I think holds an important clue. Many find the LAST part of that verse to be the hardest to execute. I would never have thought that coming out of my family system, but I have found it to be all too common. Our negative voices are stronger than any positive song in your head, and even as I work with leaders to turn down the volume on the first, it is a lifelong journey. And one that I know The Staples embraced in every day of their work together.

🎵 After this song was released, some members of the Blackstone Rangers came forward and said, “Pops, I am so glad you and your daughter sang this song. I didn’t realize I hadn’t been…When an elderly white woman would get on the bus with bags, I would just sit there. Once I heard it, I realized I needed to get up and let her sit down.” Some of their own violent acts, while justified, undermined the overall mission.

🖋 As you execute cleaning up the wrapping paper and bags, surrounded by family and loved ones, what would help you sweep up those negative voices at the same time? As a Pastor told my wife one time, “Guilt is not of God”. Simple, not Easy. One of their biggest hits then, and so needed now, particularly on this amazing Christmas Day. Enjoy every moment and remember, you were created great – God doesn’t make junk. This special day is the day that love was executed by coming for us all.  So – take that to heart … Respect Yourself.

If you disrespect anybody that you run in to
How in the world do you think anybody’s s’posed to respect you
If you don’t give a heck ’bout the man with the bible in his hand, y’all
Just get out the way, and let the gentleman do his thing
You the kind of gentleman that want everything your way, yeah
Take the sheet off your face, boy, it’s a brand new day
Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
If you’re walking ’round think’n that the world owes you something ’cause you’re here
You goin’ out the world backwards like you did when you first come here yeah
Keep talkin’ bout the president, won’t stop air pollution
Put your hand on your mouth when you cough, that’ll help the solution
Oh, you cuss around women and you don’t even know their names, no
Then you’re dumb enough to think that’ll make you a big ol’ man
Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
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