The young woman is clearly in distress. She has come to me for counsel. I have no absolutes for her. Whenever I share, I do my best not to tell people what they ought to do no matter how much I want to give advice rather than counsel (yes, there is a difference); everyone has to take responsibility for the decisions they make. This will not happen if the decision they make is based on what I tell them to do. I can only point the young woman to God’s word, encourage her to seek His face, and clear away the clutter and distractions so that she might clearly hear what He has to say.

It frustrates me to see the negative situation in an individual’s life and yet not be able to take hold of it and make it right for all the parties involved. It burdens my heart to see pain in a person’s eyes and realize I have no power to take it away. It makes me so angry to know the heartache people inflict on others even as they name the name of Christ and profess to love Him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. In the words of Marvin Gaye, it “makes me wanna holler……” I feel so ineffective and impotent even as I am also absolutely sure that God can, and will, handle every sin committed against us if we will absolutely trust Him for the outcome.

Yes, there are times when I do muse on, and trip over, Romans 8:28 – “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.” My humanity wants to know why I must wade my way through the bad to get to the “all things work together for good,” part. Why can’t it always be good all the time because I love the God who is good all the time?!

I turned on the radio just as the radio bible teacher was saying, “Relationships take patience and perseverance,” his point being that we must press our way through those prickly patches in any relationship with patience and perseverance. In other words, we cannot jump ship because my spouse is not right; my mother gets on my nerves; my children have lost their minds; my co-workers drive me crazy; those church members irk me, etc., etc., etc.

Do you know that God has a sense of humor? Well, He does, and I know it because He sent this message to me on the heels of my conversation with the young woman, just as I was thinking, “Everyone has a right to peace and harmony in their lives; why can’t we just cut bait and run?” Not only was I thinking it; I was seriously considering sharing this “message” with her.

Patience and perseverance are two words that can be anathema in this “I WANT IT NOW!” society. I cannot even remember the last time I was in a bible study, or heard a sermon, about patience and perseverance. James’ declaration, “Count it all joy,” is just one big irritant when I can see nothing in my life for which to be joyful. Patience and perseverance in this chaos called life? Are you kidding me? Seriously, God, patience and perseverance in this quagmire of a relationship in which I now find myself stuck?

The Truth: Running from adversity and conflict in relationships does not solve problems, but compounds them. Patience and perseverance are the keys to relational transformation.

7Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
9Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. 12Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned. James 5:7-12 (NIV)

~From “Five Lies That Ruin Relationships: Why a Change in Scenery Rarely Improves the View” ~Chip Ingram/Living On The Edge Radio Broadcast, October 2011

The only way I will learn to be patient and to persevere in times of adversity is to be patient and persevere in times of adversity. This may sound like circular reasoning, but it is fact, hard and cold. Just as I learned to drive by driving, just as I learned to cook by cooking, just as I learned to do anything by doing it, so it is with patience and perseverance in those upside down relationships. We may never reach perfection, but we should at least try. We must kick to the curb the idea of convenience, comfort, and no challenge in this life-journey. I am not saying this will be an easy or challenge free process. I am saying that we must begin to trust Him who is still able to do more than we can ask or think, one day at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time.

Patience and perseverance, now that’s a thought!

Gwinnett County Nurse Marthe Bien-Aime Tasered by Cops for After Refusing to Grant Access to Patient Accused of Sexually Assault

Gwinnett County nurse Marthe Bien-Aime was tasered and arrested after she refused to grant police access to a patient at the Summit Ridge Hospital, who was suspected of sexually molesting another patient. Police said Ms. Bien-Aime obstructed police officers, but her brother said she was just following hospital policy. It should be noted that Summit Ridge is a psychiatric facility.

The Hinterland Gazette is Moving to WordPress

We are pleased to announce The Hinterland Gazette is moving from Blogger to a self-hosted site! Please bear with us as we make this transition. It is your support that has helped us to outgrow Blogger. The move will be seamless and will be the beginning of great things! The site may go down for a few hours, but I can assure you, we will back on track quickly! Please bear with us as we make necessary upgrades and changes!

Dion Evans & RMG Radio, Candlelights For Community…

I am pleased to see my friend Dion Evans of RMG Radio, Oakland California organize and execute a non-violent vigil in his community. Many of us in one way or another, have seen or witnessed some form of violence. It doesn’t matter whether the violence affects you personally in the form of violence against your person or against some one you know, the fact is all of us need to be aware of the damaging effcts of violence in our community. Read more:


I am on my way home; I am on the train. I love riding the train. If I had the time, I would take a cross country trip on the train (with a sleeper reservation, of course).

My daughters cringe at the thought of riding any length of time on the train. “It takes too long,” they say. They are part of the microwave generation, born into a time when you can get from point A to B point without breaking a sweat.

People are in such a hurry these days. Rather than stop to smell the roses, we have screen savers that flash pictures of nature in realistic vibrancy at us before we connect with the world wide web.

In our quest to seize the moment in the moment, we have lost touch with a sense of sanctity and internal harmony. Because we are wired for “Go, go, go” all the time, we cannot even enjoy the gift of those unexpected moments when we have absolutely nothing to do. We rush to fill such voids with background white noise, as we search our digital calendars to make sure we are not being unproductive slugs.

I wish for every hurry scurry making it happen all the time individual, the joy of genuine silence. A silence that embraces them in such a way that their soul is quieted and filled with a serenity beyond comprehension.

But this will require the patience of waiting and who has time for that?

Christian Painter Stephen Sawyer’s "No Appointment Necessary" Painting Portrays Jesus as a T-Shirt & Blue Jeans Wearing Dude Flexing Tattooed Tricep

Is Christian painter Stephen Sawyer’s latest painting, “No Appointment Necessary,” portraying Jesus flexing tattooed tricep and wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans an insult to Christians?

Christian paint Stephen Sawyer has taken his craft to a new low — denigrating Jesus as a tattooed, t-shirt and blue jeans wearing dude, flexing his right tricep, with his “No Appointment Necessary” painting. So, I guess we can look forward to seeing a hip-hop Jesus Christ coming soon!

The 58-year-old Christian artist’s goal, according to his “Art for God” website, is to use his paintings to “reflect the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in the 21st century.” The painting described above has appeared in hundreds of different newspapers around the world, Sawyer says, including the Jerusalem Post.

“Those people who have tattoos, many of which are bikers, who have turned their heart over to God … instead of them being embraced by Christian fellowship … they had Leviticus being spouted out at them,” Sawyer told The Christian Post on Tuesday while explaining the purpose of the painting. “That was my open hand slap to say, ‘Stop judging people based on the outside of their cup,’” he said.

He was referring to Leviticus 19:28, which in the New International Version says, “Do not … put tattoo marks on yourselves.” Source

Of course, no-one knows what Jesus looks like and I guess that’s up to one’s interpretation of the Bible. I guess if he wanted to be accurate from a historical context, he should have portrayed Jesus with a darker complexion.

President Obama Hits Back at Black Criticism, Reportedly Said It’s "Bullshit"

So, the word circulating in the mainstream media is that President Obama believes the criticism being leveled at him for “ignoring” the black community is “bullshit.” Let me back up….According to Politico, President Obama is reportedly angry that black leaders aren’t crediting him for his hard-bought achievements that will benefit the black community, including health care reform, aid to cities, student aid and protecting Medicaid. Um, this is the same person who was willing to throw Medicaid & Social Security on the chopping block to make deals with the Republican Party. Don’t get me wrong, both entities are sorely in need of change because they are cash-cows and badly run.

“The whole thing is bull——. … We have met with [black leaders] more than any other group, and we are increasing our outreach,” said a person close to Obama.

But Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), who represents several predominantly black Los Angeles-area neighborhoods, brings up an issue that African-American leaders repeatedly raise when talking about Obama: They say he’s worried about being too closely identified with the community that gave him inspiration and bedrock support. Source: Politico

I have always maintained that President Obama cannot devote his attention solely to every need of the black community, but I am a little disturbed that he hasn’t devoted not even a passing glance at the black community that went out in droves to support him. He cannot fix all the problems that ails this group, but he can at least show he gives a sh*t by making a predominantly black community one of his campaign stops. The bigger problem is that the Democratic Party, as a whole, is taking the black community for granted because they know most blacks will vote that way. Well, I, for one, am not beholden to any one party. I have crossed party lines to vote for Republicans and I would do it again and again, if that particular candidate embodies the issues I consider important to me. I will echo Gen. Colin Powell’s sentiment that I am not sold on Barack Obama in 2012. Actually, I am not sold on anyone in the Republican Party either. I am on the fence at this juncture.

University of SC Professor Dr. Jennifer Lee Wilson Found Stabbed to Death in Duplex, Ex-Boyfriend Hank Eric Hawes Charged with Her Murder

University of South Carolina professor Dr. Jennifer Lee Wilson, 36, found stabbed to death in Columbia home, ex-boyfriend Hank Eric Hawes charged with murder, being held without bond.

Another woman has died due to domestic violence. Dr. Jennifer Lee Wilson, 36, who was just tenured at the University of South Carolina, was found stabbed to death in her Columbia duplex on Sunday and her ex-boyfriend, Hank Eric Hawes, charged with her murder. according to the Charlotte Observer, friends of Wilson, a Fulbright scholar, said she was trying to break off any relationship she might have had with Hawes and was worried about his aggressive behavior and her safety.

She was reportedly killed at approximately 2am on Sunday, when an unidentified neighbour called police after hearing a loud ‘physical altercation going on’ and ‘furniture banging around,’ according to a police report. Wilson was inside screaming: ‘No! No! No!’ the report said. Source: Daily Mail

What a sad end to such a promising life. Dr. Wilson suffered multiple stab wounds. Hank Hawes is being held without bail in Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. Domestic violence cuts across socioeconomic status and race. It is a silent killer in too many homes.