Dr. Jeanette Parker (File Photo)

Sometimes, our first thoughts are not our best thoughts. We may want to think this is a great strategy to follow: that is,”Follow your first mind. ”However, that can get you into a lot of trouble. First mind may be a wrong impulsive decision.  Just because you think it: your best thinking may not be your first thoughts. Do you remember what happened to the Apostle  Peter,?  He was in a trance with a vision (ecstasy;  amazement), when he heard a voice and saw a great sheet open up with all kinds of strange animals from every part of the world (four corners). He did not realize that God was preparing him to  go on a great mission: carrying the message of the Gospel to the Gentiles.  He was caught up and thinking in every direction that his thoughts could go. He didn’t understand what the Lord was speaking to him. The voice had to speak to him three times before he could adjust his mind to following the instructions! It was then that he came to his senses. He followed the instructions given him regarding the vision he had experienced. Was it his first thought to follow the directive? No. He was hesitant. He thought it was saying, “Peter! Sacrifice and eat.” He knew he had been following the Levitical food laws. Even though he was not clear on the whole meaning of his commission, he knew he had heard God’s voice. Therefore, he had to follow without questioning. Afterwards, he, along with his servants left and  met Cornelius’ (who had also had a vision and given directives of what to do. Peter met with Cornelius close relatives and friends, he was remembering the custom (not an Old Testament regulation) to not socialize with Gentiles. He said “It is unlawful.”  There was no O.T. law that forbade meeting with Gentiles was  against the Mosaic law. This is similar even today. There are tensions between some people and some races today. No, I’m not saying it is right. We cannot continue looking at people by their differences; rather, we “see the good in people.” When you look at a person and you say inside your mind, “ I don’t like him/her. Every time I see that person, they make me sick! He  looks  awful….Or on the contrary, “Every time I see that person, he/she always looks so perfect. Don’t they ever have a bad day?” Their clothes fit well. They’re not skinny or overweight. {In your mind you might be saying, “I wish I didn’t have to diet.” (or whatever your thoughts might be.}  You don’t know what is going on in that person’s life. Or even if someone says negative things to you, it’s not always that it is about you. It could be about them.  So, what should you do? You remember the lyrics to the song, “Take it to the Lord in prayer.” Good advice.  Do you have a better friend than Jesus? Who else will be with you through thick and thin? ‘I’m concerned about the millions of people  incarcerated  people in the U.S. have criminal records. Forbes.com reports, “An estimated 40,000 people are incarcerated for marijuana offenses even as: the overall legal cannabis industry is booming: one state after another is legalizing; and cannabis companies are making healthy profits” Forbes.com further states “There are over 70 million people in this country with criminal records, and each and every one of them goes through hell finding a job,” said Richard Bronson, founder and CEO of 70 Million Jobs, a staffing agency for people with criminal records.” “Many, many are men and women of color who have done their time, “Bronson pointed out, “and too many are in jail for activity that has subsequently been legalized. It’s an irony of gruesome proportions.” Regarding seeing some good in everyone; we no longer evaluate others from a worldly point of view. We no longer determine a person’s character by outward appearance.  We look at each individual as one created by God, not  “look like a nobody (so to speak). Every person has value. That’s  first  to recognize and remember. Yes. Those 70 million people were created by God. Thanks for reading! Teach the children!  Jeanette Grattan Parker, Founder-Superintendent Today’s Fresh Start Charter School 323-293-9826 www.todaysfreshstart.org; [email protected].Tm [email protected] tm “Inquiring minds want to know.”© All rights reserved©Askdrjeanetteparker.com tm TodaysFreshStart.org Today’s Fresh Start Charter School 323-293-9826.