Michael Carson

Evangelist Catherine L. Carson and I send our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Bobby “Big Bob” Pettigrew. What a stellar gentleman and legend!

It makes no difference what part of the country/community you might find yourself, the barber shop/beauty shop normally serves as a great “classroom” for conversation and learning about anything.

Take, for example, a week ago. I took my 13-year-old grandson, Jailen Carson, to get his hair cut at Mr. O’Neal’s Hair Salon. There, at the salon, the owner, Bishop James R. O’Neal, Pastor William Price and me were in conversation as my grandson intently listened. The topic was "how does one show their appreciation to God for what God has blessed them with?”

The Psalmist asks, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12)

This a major question. Does a person have the wherewithal to satisfy God for all that God has done, is doing and will do for them?

God is “the great giver,” “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

On one hand, God informs us that we have nothing God needs from us. God declares, “I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.” (Psalm 50:8-12)

God wants our humility. Who would not be humble in the presence of the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God?

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

We owe God everything we have. “All things come of Thee, O Lord, and of Thine own have we given Thee.”

God wants us to reciprocate in the giving of ourselves, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (Romans 12:1)

So, permit me to close with a thought: I believe God requires us is to “pay forward” what God has blessed us with.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (St. Matthew 22:37-40)

One of the things about great conversations in the barber shop/ beauty salon is that they are very enriching, informative, challenging and never-ending. So we will always find ourselves (as we did on last Friday) saying “to be continued … ”

I’m just saying!

Peace with justice, be blessed real good, attend worship and families matter.

Dr. Michael C. Carson may be reached via email at carsonvision@acd.net.

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