As important as personal finance is, most people struggle in this area and if you’ve had any dealings with financial planners you will agree with me that the industry as a whole needs much more reform that it is getting presently. Except for a few financial planners, most only trade products and services for commissions and fees. Rather than focus on planning that matters for the clients, they often focus on transactions and in the process provide sub-optimal financial plan that meets the needs of the clients. If you currently have a financial planner, how many times have you challenged your financial planner or questioned his advice? How often do you review your investments and retirement goals and plans? Do you know if your financial planner invests in the same products he recommends for you? Do you know how your financial planner is compensated? At the end of the day, no one will manage your money better than you so that’s why I think it is critical to be educated in this area so you can at least ask intelligent questions and make informed decisions about your money and future retirement. With the tools now available to all including the Fintech firms that are now disrupting the wealth management industry, there is no better time to consider taking full control of your financial future. I am currently testing and researching various service delivering options and will be providing a service shortly that will equip you to build a bullet proof retirement plan tailored to your needs. If you want more information on this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Can We End Racism and Discrimination in Our Society?


Here are questions to ponder as we search for solutions for injustice in our society

I have never felt comfortable discussing the issues of racism outside of my family and circles of my fellow black brothers and sisters.

And here is why.

I don’t want to be seen as a victim.

I don’t think it adds any value going forward.

I don’t want to destroy current and ongoing relationships with friends and business partners that are of a different race than me.

Now, I must admit how naive I’ve been on issues like this.

As my wife and I watched the video of the unfortunate incident that led to the death of George Floyd, we cried.

It was painful to watch.

It was hard to believe what we were watching.

Our emotions were high.

And I wondered…

What drives someone to hate to a point of taking another person’s life?

What role does our society play in aiding incidents like this?

Who is to blame for this?

Who benefits from incidents like this?

And what can we do to stop this from happening again?

A lot of great articles have been written on Medium and outside of Medium on this. I will share some of these shortly.

Before I do, I will attempt to answer some of these questions that confront all of us. I will also pose additional questions for you to consider.

Are the cops to blame?

The temptation to generalize is quite high. In situations like this, it is easy to scream that all cops are murderers.

There are good cops and there are bad cops. The fact is the majority of the cops are good. There is 1% of cops that cause major concerns like this in our society.

We know that the police in many municipalities are working hard to get rid of these bad cops. We applaud their effort. And we recognize that the police have more work to do to put an end to incidents like this.

Are the protesters to blame?

It is quite easy when you’re not emotionally attached to a situation to give your opinion.

When emotions are high, people lose logic as it is hard to reason correctly.

We know that the majority of the protesters are peaceful. It is 1% of protesters that are looting and causing the destruction.

Should we excuse them for looting? Yes. Why? Because they are acting out of high emotions resulting from the incident. They’ve lost their logic to reason at the moment.

Should they be punished for looting and protesting violently? Yes.

I certainly don’t advocate violence and I don’t suggest you participate in violent protest. The majority of the protests we’ve seen are peaceful.

And the reason we protest is to put a spotlight on the injustice we continue to see from time to time. To hopefully cause a change in direction and ultimately, save Black lives.

Are the politicians to blame?

Should we blame Trump for dividing America? Should we blame Obama? Is it the Republicans? The Democrats?

It is a complex issue and it is certainly hard to point fingers. Different people will have different opinions based on alliances and other factors.

The truth is leadership plays a role in aiding racism. And I believe leadership will also play a role in combating it.

Who benefits from incidents like this?

Is it the political parties? Is the Middle East celebrating that America is so divided? Is China happy that America cannot be united? Is the media benefiting from this?

This is complex, but is it good to ponder on these. The reality is that no matter the incident, there are groups that will benefit from it.

The obvious one is the media. Bad news will always benefit the media as it drives traffic to their media outlets.

As a society, this incident may lead to a turning point for real change in our society. Change that may reduce incidents of racism. Change that may ultimately save Black lives.

Can we eliminate racism and discrimination?

Based on the history of mankind, it is unlikely we can eliminate racism and discrimination.

It is unfortunate that we will continue to live with this in our society.

We will always have Whites that hate Blacks among us.

There are Blacks that hate Whites.

There are groups of White people that will discriminate against other groups of White people based on country of origin, language, tribe, etc.

The same is true for groups of Black people that will discriminate against other groups of Balck people based on county of origin, tribe, language, etc.

We can expand this to Latinos, Chinese, Indians, etc. It never ends.

So, we will continue to see discrimination against the poor and marginalized in our society.

It is in our nature to judge. We judge and discriminate people all the time based on color, height, weight, nationality, sexual orientation, etc. This will never stop.

As individuals, we have to educate ourselves on these biases we carry all the time. We have to recognize it, accept it, pause and reconsider before we finally make a decision.

Together as a society, we can work hard to reduce the incidents of racism and discrimination.

I believe we can all agree that we’ve made progress on this compared to 50 or 100 years ago. It is better today. But we have work to do.

What can we do to protect ourselves and our community?

Obviously, raising awareness of this issue in our workplace, in our gatherings with friends of other races, and in our homes will help.

Speaking up and challenging the status quo will help.

Participating actively in our political process will certainly help. We need to vote and elect politicians that can make changes in our criminal justice systems.

Helping our communities become financially free is critical. If the marginalized groups in our society are empowered financially, incidents of racism and discrimination will likely reduce.

Creating more entrepreneurs in the marginalized groups will help. For example, if we have more and more Black businesses that are successful, no one can tell us what to do. We will not depend on groups that discriminate against us for anything.

If you run an organization, consider a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives you can run in your organization. This one suggested by Leticia Rose is a great start.

Image Credit: Letecia Rose
Image Credit: Letecia Rose

Read the following great articles for ideas and inspiration on how you can help fight racism and discrimination in our society:

  1. How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change By President Barck Obama
  2. Love Us Like You Love Our Culture by Andy’s Buckets
  3. 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice by Corinne Shutack
  4. Maintaining Professionalism in the age of black death is…a lot by Shenequa Golding
  5. Black Lives Matter: An opinion from a ten-year-old by Dražen? Dražen!
  6. I’m afraid to watch the video of George Floyd. Here’s why… by Tosin Akinwekomi
  7. How to Be a Good American by Stephanie Georgopulos
  8. CNN’s Omar Jimenez Could Have Been Me — Or Any of My Black Colleagues by Jada Gomez
  9. My Dad Warned Me About the Myth of Racial Progress. He Was Right by Drew Costley
  10. We won’t let this moment be a trend by Vanessa K. De Luca
  11. Office Allies Can’t Undo Yet Another Black Murder by The Only Black Guy In the Office

In Conclusion

As a black man, I couldn’t help but worry that I may be the next victim as I watched the video of this incident with my wife.

I couldn’t stop worrying about the safety of my wife, my 26-year old son, my 12-year old daughter, and my 10-year old son.

I couldn’t stop worrying about all my family members, relatives, friends, colleagues, employees, and business partners that are black.

I couldn’t stop worrying about the marginalized in our society.

In spite of this, I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that awareness will continue to grow.

I’m hopeful that we will see meaningful change now and in the years to come.

As difficult and challenging as it is today…

Let’s choose to love rather than to hate.

Let’s choose to forgive rather than to continue to live in unforgiveness.

Let’s choose to speak up against injustice.

Let’s choose to show compassion for the marginalized in our society.

Let’s choose to pray for the haters, that they will have a change of heart.

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Do You Labor In What Does Not Satisfy?


In light of the demands on our time and the pressure to work harder, mostly for the satisfaction of the pleasures of this world, I was encouraged by this verse in Isaiah 55:2 “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

In his invitation to the people of Israel to receive the glory of the Lord’s restoration, Isaiah poses a great question for the people…”why do you spend money and labor for what can’t satisfy?” He calls on the people of God to listen diligently, eat what is good and delight in rich food. First, the satisfaction of God’s promises is only available to those who listen diligently. Listening diligently takes time, attention and effort. Second, they must eat what is good, the good word of God, the Gospel. And third, they must delight in God’s rich food, reading his words and hearing by faith and attending to God’s words with spiritual pleasure and delight.

We are called today to pause and examine our lives. What things are we pouring our time, money and effort into? Are they things that don’t satisfy? Or things that bring glory to the Lord? There is an invitation from Christ today for us to listen diligently, because the satisfaction God promises only comes to those who listen, those who listen patiently and attentively. We are invited to eat that which is good and to delight in the rich food. In other words, to spend time abiding in God’s word, meditating on His promises and delighting in the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Lord, our prayer is to only delight in your good word that promises satisfaction. May you lead and guide us as we redirect our efforts, time and money to those things that will bring glory to your Holy name. Fill our hearts with the joy and delight that only comes from the satisfaction of eating from the bread of life, the essential Word, Jesus Christ. Amen!

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He Was Pierced For Our Transgressions


In Chapter 53 of Isaiah, the Prophet foretells the suffering of the Messiah, the end for which he was to die and the resulting salvation for mankind from His death and resurrection.

Isaiah 53:5-6 “[5] But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. [6] All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – everyone – to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

In these beautiful verses, Isaiah explains why Christ was stricken, smitten by God and afflicted (v.4). It was for us, for our transgressions…for our iniquities. It was in our place that the Messiah suffered. In v.5, Isaiah announces that provision for healing is found in the suffering of Jesus Christ, so with his wounds we are healed. And in v.6 he describes the need for the Messiah’s atoning work, that all of us, like stupid, headstrong sheep, have gone astray. We have turned on our own sinful ways, rather than following the ways of God. But God in his grace judged our iniquity as it was laid on Jesus Christ!

Knowing that Christ was pierced for my transgressions, that he was crushed for my iniquities, that his punishment gave me peace and that his wounds brought me healing overwhelms my heart with joy. I must then give praise to God almighty for this grace and salvation that I don’t deserve!  By faith I claim the perfect healing that was provided to me through His wounds on the cross and I will live everyday of my life focused on His ways rather than my sinful ways.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for both the physical and spiritual healing provided for me by the wounds you suffered on the cross. I give you glory Lord for realizing how lost I was in my ways and taking up my iniquity upon Yourself. 1 Peter 2:24-25 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”  Amen!

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Let Wisdom and Discernment lead you to the Lord!


In chapter 14 of the book of Hosea, Prophet Hosea calls on the people of Israel to return to the Lord. He says whoever is wise and discerning, let him understand and know these things.

Hosea 14:9 “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but the transgressors stumble in them.

What are the things that Hosea is referring to here? They are all over the book of Hosea but specifically I will highlight two verses in this chapter:

  1. V.2 “Take with you words and return to the Lord…” and “…Take away all iniquity…”: God calls the people to come before the Lord and repent from their iniquities. Taking the word of God with them means studying the word and communicating with God with their hearts, telling God that they love Him and confessing their sins before the Lord. When we come to the Lord, we recognize our sins and our total dependence on the grace of God to wipe away our iniquities. Paul expressed the same idea in Romans 10:8-10 “…The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (i.e. the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
  2. V.4 “I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely…”: The word apostasy is abandonment of one’s religious faith, a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion. The Lord saw that His people have abandoned him but He promised to heal them, not because they deserved it, but because it is in His nature to love them freely.

In this chapter alone, we see the cycle of repentance, redemption and restoration evident in Hosea’s prophecy. We see God’s love for his people – a nation of people more interested in themselves than in God’s direction for their lives – shine through clearly against the darkness of their idolatry and injustice.

We know that God brings judgment on those who turn from Him, but more importantly, it’s clear that no one sits outside of God’s offer of forgiveness! Today, I appreciate, even more, the saving power of God, now offered to me through His son, Jesus. I was once under His judgment because of my sins, but to the glory of God, I am forgiven and redeemed. I am restored to a loving relationship with my Father! The passage today shows what is restored when I return to the Lord:

  • Growth and beauty is restored (v.5 “…he shall blossom like the lily…”)
  • Strength is restored (v.5 “…he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon”)
  • Value is restored (v.6 “…his beauty shall be like the olive…”)
  • Delight is restored (v.6 “…his fragrance like Lebanon”)
  • Abundance is restored (v.7 “…flourish like the grain; …blossom like the vine; …their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon”)

Therefore, I must in turn, offer “redemption” or forgiveness to those in my life who were once under my judgment. I must forgive just as my Father forgave me.

Prayer:  Lord, may these truths be real in my life as I come to you now and confess my sins. Forgive me Lord and restore me back to a loving relationship with You. A relationship where I can experience the growth, strength, delight and abundance that can only be found in Christ Jesus. Amen!

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Don’t Let Pride Get in the Way

Businessman looking at faith door

As humans, particularly men, we give in to pride so easily. In the book of 2 Kings, we learn about Naaman and his pride. Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was a mighty man of valor as the bible described him. He was well respected and held in high favor. However, he was a leper. When he was told that a prophet in Samaria could cure him of his leprosy, he went and told the king who authorized him to go to Samaria. As Naaman arrived with his horses and chariots at the door of prophet Elisha’s house, he was humbled by the reality which was far different from his expectations.


2 King 5:10-12 “And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.’ But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, ‘Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So he turned and went away in rage.”


Naaman was accustomed to being honored but Elisha would not even give him a personal audience, instead Elisha simply sent a messenger. Naaman apparently had it all figured out. In his great need, he anticipated a way God would work, and he was offended when God didn’t work the way he expected. Because his expectation of how God should work was crushed, Naaman wanted nothing to do with Elisha. If the answer was in washing in a river, Naaman knew there were better rivers in his own land. Naaman submitted to his pride. Naaman’s servants eventually came to his rescue with a timely advice which Naaman listened to, faithfully obeyed and was healed of his leprosy.


As we reflect on our own lives, we need to ask some tough questions. Are we not like Naaman sometimes when we discount the simplicity of God’s response to our needs? We let pride get in the way and thus, miss our healing moments and God’s miracles in our lives. We let our own opinions based on our status come before God’s opinion. Like Naaman, we often think that God’s plan is too cheap, too plain, too common merely based on our own status. This is God calling us to put him First…we must surrender our ways and submit to God’s wisdom and vision for our lives.


Proud men are the worst enemies to themselves and forgo their own redemption. Therefore, we must pray to God to destroy all elements of pride in us and keep us humble and obedient to His words. We learn from Romans 10:3 that those that are for establishing their own righteousness will not submit to the righteousness of God…”For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” Lord, I pray that you will keep us in total submission to your righteousness. Amen!

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