Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"Religion is a great force -- the only real motive force in the world; but what you fellows don't understand is that you must get at a man through his own religion and not through yours." -- George Bernard Shaw, "Getting Married"

Why are there so many denominations of Protestants?
Why are there so many Baptist churches?
Why didn't the Jews choose to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah?
I don't have any of the answers to those queries, but I do have faith in one God.
I do believe Jesus was the Son of God and died for our sins on the cross.
I believe salvation comes from one's faith in that statement.
I believe we must also do good works along with our faith.
We have a mission to help others.
But we can't convert heathens if they won't listen with an open mind.
I have some friends who are very intelligent but they're agnostics or atheists.
I won't change their mind so I just have to be a patient listener.
I respect all religious followers and I don't try to convert them to Methodism and I don't expect them to change my religious persuasions.
I'm a proud follower of the religion practed by Rev. Major William Maurice Lanier and Ruth Kornmeyer Lanier, aka, my parents who I eulogized upon their earthly deaths.
I felt God working in my life when I delivered those eulogies.
One of my biggest regrets occurred when I received a phone call from the Conway United Methodist Church requesting a copy of my eulogy for my father. They were compiling a book of the greatest sermons ever preached at that hallowed church and they considered my eulogy to be included.
I felt overwhelmed but also guilty that I didn't follow in my father's footsteps. He wore a size 10 1/2 shoe and I'm just a midget with a 7 1/2 shoe.
Nevertheless, I'm proud to have lived in the Laniers house and grew up a little bit confused about my destiny until my father told me, "David, you like to write and you like sports, why don't you become a sports writer."
I felt God was working through him to motivate me into that higher calling.
I miss sports writing but this blog is very cathartic when I'm facing a crisis situation.
Thanks patient readers for sharing your lives with me.
We are all blessed to know each other.
I appreciate my true friends when I need their assistance.
God bless you one and all!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


"When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground." -- Old African proverb often quoted by the blues scholar William Ferris

Wisdom is in the mind of the beholder.
When I was a child I spoke like a child and thought like a child and acted childish.
I respected and revered my father and grandfathers.
But I didn't seek wisdom from them because I was too shy.
Now I wish I'd picked their brains and sought life wisdom.
I spend most of my day in the library garnering wisdom from the sages.
While perusing the latest edition of the "Oxford American" magazine I found this African proverb and it tickled my brain cells into philosophizing about the meaning behind the saying.
No one is sure who originated this very deep proverb.
We all have a wealth of knowledge stored up and we should be adding to it every day.
As Bob Dylan crooned, "He not being born is busy dying."
I just turned 60 and I used to think that was an old man's age.
But I feel like I'm 30. I know from all the walking I do I'm in better shape than my "old man", er, excuse me father in heaven. You were a scholar and I'm a dope compared to you.
I eulogized my father at his funeral and thought I'd encapsulated his life, until I heard the eulogy given by Dr. Francis Christie, a dean from Hendrix College.
I wish I'd kept his eulogy but the theme revolved around where scholarship and memory intersected.
My father was a biblical scholar who attended Yale Divinity School and he prized the memories he collected from his youth.
I don't proclaime to be a scholar but I do have a fantastic memory.
So, when you die what will you be remembered for?
Will a library of knowledge burn with you?
I hope I have at least one book in the library.
When I interviewed for a job at Barnes and Noble I told the manager my career goal was to have an autograph signing party for my first book at that Barnes and Noble.
I'm still striving to attain that goal. But book writing isn't as easy as it sounds.
Another old African proverb fits in here: "Everything has an end, except for a banana which has two."
So to end this blog, we all have an end. We don't know when it's going to be, so we must live each day to its fullest and try and become wiser in knowledge and how we apply it to aiding our fellows become better individuals. Then when we die, we not only have a library burn with us, we've left an indelible mark on others lives who will salute us for our accomplishments and not mourn but praise us.

Friday, January 20, 2012


God blesses us with special friends.
Sometimes when we least expect it new friends intercede into our lives and aid us in our life's toils and tribulations.
I've been blessed this New Year of 2012 with some awesome good Samaritans!!
While trekking down Morningside/City Lake Road I've been amazed at how many charismatic Christians stopped to offer me a ride.
And today marks a watershed in my pedestrian adventures.
A very, very, very, very nice gentleman who delivers the mail to West Fork is going to provide me transportation on a daily basis early in the morning from just a few blocks from my abode to the library.
And he'll also let me ride with him from the church at the corner of Morningside and 15th in the afternoons.
So, my tennis shoes won't have to be reshod anytime soon.
And, a very, very, very nice lady has been blessing me this year, too.
She saw my Santa hat before Christmas and offered me a ride home. She blessed me with a Christmas pizza party and on Wednesday picked me up and took me to Subway.
I love the kind-heartedness of the friendly folks at the U.S. Post Office Distribution Center. At least four of the workers there have provided me with their vehicular blessings.
I sure am glad I ate black-eyed peas the two days after New Year's!! Maybe, my "God squad" of transportation did too!!
In the meantime, I hope to be able to reciprocally help out some of my less fortunate friends who still must battle the elements in tents and in my estimation their foot soldiers who deserve a resting spot they can truly call home, sweet, home.
I love Fayetteville and its awesome hospitality!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Martin Luther King

Happy 83rd birthday Martin Luther King, Jr.!!!
On Jan. 15, 1929, MLK sprung into this world.
The profundity of that birth correlates with the birth in Bethlehem. A very insignificant event to their respective parents, but their historical and spiritual legacies transcend most of the others who've ever traversed this Earth.
Martin Luther King was accused of urging others to do things that he did not do. Some self-righteously proclaimed that Dr. King didn't spend enough time in jail.
So, on April 16, 1963, Dr. King wrote an essay in the form of an open letter while serving a jail sentence for participating in civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, Ala.
Eight prominent "liberal" Alabama clergymen published an open letter which called on King to allow the battle for integration to be engaged in local and federal courts. They warned that King's nonviolent resistance would have the effect of inciting civil disturbances.
Dr. King desired Christian ministers to see that the meaning of Christian discipleship was at the heart of the African American struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
So, he penned "Letter from a Birmingham jail."
"The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations. He has to get them out. So let him march sometime; understand why he must have sit-ins and freedom rides. If his repressed emotions do not come out in these nonviolent ways, they will come out in ominous expressions of violence. This is not a threat; it is a fact of history. So I have not said to my people "get rid of your discontent." But I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channelized through the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. Now this approach is being dismissed as extremist.
"Was not Jesus an extremist in love -- "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despisefully use you."
"Was not Amos an extremist for justice -- "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."
"Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ -- "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."
"Was not Martin Luther an extremist -- "Here I stand; I can do none other so help me God."
"Was not Abraham Lincon an extremist -- "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free."
"Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist -- "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equally."
"Will we be extremist for hate or love?
"Will we be extremist for injustice or justice?
"In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill, three men were crucified. We must not forget that all three were crucified for the same crime -- the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thusly fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. So, after all, maybe the South, the nation and world are in dire need of creative extremists."
In Dr. King's most dramatic speach "I Have a Dream" he eloquently delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, before the Lincoln Memorial he orated:
"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places shall be made plain, and the crooked places shall be made straight and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
"This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with.
"With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
"With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day."
"Let freedom ring..."
I have a dream, too, in the same spirit of those homeless people in Northwest Arkansas who are despised by many as being worthless bums who don't want to work for a living and they deserve to sleep in tents and God is punishing them for not participating in the Great American Dream of wealth and prosperity with the proper work ethic as a reward for a decent place to lay one's head and not have to sleep out in the cold, that there be a caring spirit which will discern these people deserve a homeless shelter!!
I don't pretend to be a spiritual mentor with the eloquence of Dr. King. But I hope I can enlighten others to get angry enough to unite and set these people free from the bondages of houselessness.
Let freedom ring for the less fortunate to be more respected. Keep the faith my homeless brethren!!
Like the Negro spiritual, "We Shall Overcome."