We are missing the mark with reparations

shutterstock_1321069454 By R Wellen PhotographyLet me start by saying that I am soberly aware of the profoundly heavy, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and polarizing nature of this topic. And even in stating this, I am confident that my awareness and appreciation for the veracity, agony, complexity of this issue, and what it invokes, is sorely lacking and belies its due diligence.

Nevertheless, I feel compelled to speak on this weighty matter, after having my conscience pricked, and wrestling with it for many months. As a man, I often try to seek God’s heart on matters big and small; albeit, not always with success.  I try to put aside my own fallible and faulty fleshly unctions and self-righteous indignations that I truly have no legitimate claim to, and rise above the weeds of opinions of others for less than altruistic purposes.

It’s not easy, but it is necessary toward the needed healing, restoration, and reconciliation that is, what I believe, the remedy for this atrocity that has never been properly acknowledged.  This is the real root of the issue: the opening of one of the most heinous and hideous doors in the history of our great nation (and yes, this is a great nation) that has never been shut.  We need to address the root issue which opened this door, so that we can properly close this shameful and lingering chapter that has left a great stain and an open self-inflicted wound on this majestic country.  Reparations are merely a symptom with which to woefully and inadequately apply a band aid on something so deep and stench-filled.

To recommend, subscribe to, and support reparations is to dismiss, dilute, cheapen, and silence the blood of those, denigrated and destroyed by these carnages, that cries out from the soil of this nation’s past. These precious sons and daughters, many of whom were brought here against their will, taken captive, and savagely and mercilessly abused and slaughtered by this nation’s ancestors, deserve better. These previous sons and daughters, their sons and daughters, and their seed deserve better than a band aid.

Please understand that I love my country, this One Great Nation Under God. I do and will forever stand for the flag, and kneel for the cross. This, in my opinion, is the greatest nation on earth, and I count myself blessed to live here. Because I think so highly of our great nation, we have an even greater responsibility to right this wrong that has never been dealt with at its core—the root.  I am not here to pass blame, as blame-naming is one of the great strategies of the enemy to keep a people, or a nation, from truly stepping into the healing, restoration, and reconciliation needed to be applied for something so seemingly insurmountable as slavery.

This being said, we must acknowledge and accept responsibility that, while this nation was being birthed, its birthing process was contaminated, and the birth defect that resulted and still remains has never been properly dealt with; therefore, it remains unhealed and unfortunately intact.

As a man of God, I try to seek wisdom and direction in His infallible, immutable, sovereign, healing, restoring, and grace-filled Word: “If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 2:14).  This is what I believe we must do, as a people, as a nation, to address the root issue, the root cause of this devastating injustice, to close and heal this wound, this birth defect, and to shut and seal the doors permanently that were opened way back when.

And it must come from the head, the President of the United States.  I am not singling out any one president.  I have been hopeful for years throughout the succession of US Presidents from either party, for one to stand up during his or her term and make a public acknowledgement, as the highest representative of this nation, to ask forgiveness for this grievous wrong-doing. To truly call a day for this nation to repent so that this wound can be healed, and this door properly closed.  And to publicly find a proper representation of living ancestors of slaves, who are willing to forgive on behalf of their ancestors, those who committed these vicious acts of barbarism and sin against them. The president needs to stand in the gap to seek such forgiveness; and these precious souls need to stand in the gap and to forgive what we have done as a nation—past and present.

And then a bipartisan Congress must act, ratifying a day: a national day of repentance to commence each year so we can look back and remember, not the sins of our fathers; but instead, the day that our president stood up, asked for, and received forgiveness on behalf of a nation, on behalf of its citizens (past, present, and future) from the gracious heart of those trodden underfoot in unimaginable ways, which brought the Healing Hand of God to rain down the Balm of Gilead. To record such a great day that our forgiven nation was finally reconciled to its past, restored to its future, set free, and able to move forward anew; no longer mired with this lingering stench or foul residue, stepping into her glorious destiny, with nothing missing, nothing lacking, and no sorrow added.

May God bless us all, and may God continue to bless these great United States of America.

With warmest regards,


(Photo credit: R. Wellen Photography on Shutterstock)

Take up your mat and walk, part one (Full radio message)

So many people are waiting for the waters of Bethesda to stir, while lying on a mat of lack, bondage, hindrance, or regrets (‘shoulda, woulda, couldas’, as I like to call them).  My brothers and sisters, this should not be! Join me, as we are lifted up into the revelation of this pool of Bethesda, and step into the victory of Jesus’ Words, “take up your mat and walk” (John 5:8).

But first, family, know this had to become a two-parter, because the Lord took us on a Holy Ghost detour of other musings ranging from the prophetic to 4th of July. Needless to say, this is a message to warm you up to that place we will get to and through next week, where we truly walk away with our victory in hand, and the enemy under our feet.

Get prepped with one minute of intro music before wading into this week’s message.

Join me every Wednesday from 7.30-8PM EST/6.30-7PM CST on the Stellar award-winning Soar Radio Network as we experience God as Elaleh (El-aw-lay’), God Who Ascends. You can listen in by downloading the app from the play store, or by visiting www.soarradio.com.

For people who want to see “the more” materialize in their lives.

God bless!


(Photo credit: Voyagerix on Shutterstock)

My Mom, the Feminist: A Mother’s Day Tribute

20180414_105258 Matthew GarganoAs we approach Mother’s Day, and I reflect on my mom, I became supremely overwhelmed with a wave of profound gratitude and absolute awe for the woman who influenced me the most and the example she set.

My mom is from the Show Me State, the place where actions speak louder than words. Through her daily examples, which flowed naturally and effortlessly from her, those actions spoke volumes from my first living example of a woman, of how powerful women are, and how much they deserve to be loved, respected, and celebrated for their seats at the table.

The Online Etymology Dictionary defines feminism as ‘qualities of females.’ When I think of the qualities that my mom adorned and demonstrated, the ones that naturally come forth are godly, noble, loving, firm, diplomatic, devoted, unconditional love, persistent, persevering, powerful, strong, respected, trusted, beautiful, lovely, selfless, sacrificing daily, humble, steadfast, wise, champion of her family, and I can go on and on.

As I stated above, my mom was my first example of a woman. My mom set the bar and the tone of how I should view, treat, and interact with woman. My mom showed me, by her actions, the rich and defining talents of a woman.

Mom had that quiet strength—that powerfully gorgeous and commanding quiet strength which beamed from her beautiful and deep blue eyes. Those same eyes that displayed her fierce love for her children, and equally disclosed when you crossed the line. Those eyes that looked upon you with such love and kindness, yet were equally effective at correction and conviction.

I never heard my mom complain. Raising three boys and a girl, and I would argue a husband, (my dad) as well, all while balancing work, daily packed lunches, nightly dinners, grocery shopping with coupons and kids in tow, endless laundry, poison ivy, chicken pox, stitches, surgeries, school functions, little league, softball, high school football, community events, volunteerism, gave her plenty of legitimate reasons and license to more than a little whine time. But she never did.

My mom taught me God is the most important, and He is our True Source, and rightful head over our family.  I cannot tell you how much my mom prayed—and having three sons required a lot of prayer.  Even to this day, I still feel my mom’s prayers, both past and present.  I truly believe her prayers helped keep our family where it needed to be, and from going off the rails.  My mom is a prayer warrior. My mom is a warrior, period.

Mom required us to address women with respect, and that ‘yes and no ma’am’ was evidence of that respect, as was opening doors and the like.  These acts in no way diminished the power of women—quite the opposite. These acts showed deference to that power and their imperative place in the world of womanhood.

Mom taught us, through her daily actions, that being a devoted wife and mother was an incredibly incomprehensibly and profoundly critical role that formed, shaped, nurtured, and set the tone and trajectory for her family.  My mom wore her role as a wife, mother, community leader, professional, volunteer, and woman, as badge of honor. Above all, her family always came before all else; except God.  Her husband and her kids were her magnum opus.  My mom is the matriarch of our family—the glue that has held us all together, even when we were coming apart at the proverbial seams.  Thankfully, we never came apart.  We came dangerously close at times, but not quite, because of Mom.

Aside from God, without my mom, we wouldn’t be here today (and I include my dad as part of our ‘we’).  If Mom wasn’t the woman she was, we wouldn’t be the successful, compassionate, devoted, functional, steadfast sons, daughter, fathers, mothers, husbands, wife, and people we are today.  And this being said, we still can’t hold a candle this wonderful woman, who is my mom.

So, Mom, on this Mother’s Day, know that I am more grateful than words could ever express for you, who you are, your immeasurable love, and the great influence and impact you have had and still have on my life. You are my mom, my best friend, and the first woman I ever knew and loved.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Love always and forever,

Your son,