[CF Devotionals] 2019-11-19 - Modern Saint from the Ghetto

Dr. Ben Carson

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This devotional actually has its genesis in the early 1990s, for that is when I first read the autobiography that would inspire and move me so much that I would remember it almost three decades later.

We live in a time of great and equal opportunities. There are many African-American managers, mayors fire and police chiefs, and over 2,000,000 business owners in the US today. In the neighborhoods where we have lived, Blacks and Whites have lived side by side in middle class homes. The employment rate for African-Americans is at an all-time high. Over half of Black high school graduates attend college, only a 10% difference from Whites.

But things weren't always that way. Our hero grew up in a single parent home, in what was at that time called the Ghetto. He was heartbroken after being abandoned by his bigamist Daddy at age eight. The child's mom had to sometimes work three jobs to make ends meet, since the Dad also didn't make his child support payments as he was supposed to do. She also had to spend time in a mental institution, but she always looked out for her children, who she reminded often that "you are the captain of your ship," as a poem stated. The devoted mother had a strong faith in God that carried the family through difficult years. Young Ben faced bullying and some discrimination in school. Because of poor guidance at a previous school, he struggled to keep up with other students.

He could have let all this embitter him. He could have dropped out of school and ended up in a gang or even dead at a young age. However, instead, with the help of God, his beloved mother and his own determination, he overcame his environment. He decided that he wanted to serve God and humanity by becoming a doctor. Not only did he graduate from high school and college; he graduated from medical school and became the youngest Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery in the history of the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital. Any time we think that our environment is holding us back, Ben can inspire us to persevere and stay on a Biblical path, keeping our focus on Christ.

Philippians 3:15-19 (MSG)
15 So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision - you'll see it yet! 16 Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. 17 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. 18 There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross. 19 But easy street is a dead-end street.

He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008, and has been named one of the most admired men in America in Gallup polls.

And today, this former poverty-stricken ghetto kid Ben continues to serve and inspire, as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Under his leadership, HUD has started empowerment centers to serve housing project residents across the country.He and his wife continue to "give back" in their service to God and their fellow man. He and his staff work diligently to cut waste so that money is available to do what it is supposed to do, to help those truly in need. With him at the helm, they give nearly $100,000,000 per year to the Self-Sufficiency program, to assist inner city residents in increasing their incomes, and they even promote literacy by providing almost 500,000 books to poor students, which will in turn help them in school!!

Dr. Ben Carson has been at both ends of the continuum - from dirt poor to highly acclaimed neurosurgeon and then public servant. His life is a reminder that no matter our status in life, no matter our age or capabilities, we can and should be making a difference.

1 Corinthians 12: 10-11 (MSG) Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:

1 Corinthians 12:27 (MSG) You are Christ’s body–that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.

[email jan] Janice P. Moser

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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.

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