Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Three Door Cadillac

Have you ever prayed for something and did not receive it?

How did you feel?

When I was nine years old I heard the minister at Tabernacle say that if we asked God for something and believed it, we would receive it.

I took him at his word. That night I prayed for a long Cadillac with three doors like I saw President Eisenhower step out of on television. I went to bed comfortably believing, without a doubt, that my prayer request would be answered. The next day I anxiously ran to the front door looking for the Cadillac. It wasn't there.

Had the preacher lied? I was confused.

When I questioned him later, he reminded me that I heard what I wanted to hear. I didn't hear the part about my request being in the "will of God." The car was "my will" but it was not "God's will." -I didn't hear that part.

There are many adults today who do not hear that part either. We pray for many things that may not be according to God's will and get frustrated when we don't receive them.

He promised to give us anything we ask for that will help us to accomplish his will for our lives.


Owning a Cadillac limo at nine years old certainly was not in his will for me. It works the same way with other requests too. I prayed for pizza for breakfast, that didn't happen. I prayed not to get a whipping for acting up at school, that didn't happen. I prayed to be rich and famous, that didn't happen either.

One day I prayed for a good wife and a successful ministry.

That happened.

It was according to his will.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Just Plain Roosevelt

I received a letter addressed to "Dr." Roosevelt Wright, Jr. recently. I was amused.

For several years my name was listed among the faculty of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education as "Dr." I wasn't amused, I was embarassed. Although I have college degrees, what's the point in wearing them on my sleeve?

A seminary in Philadephia wanted to confer a life time "doctorate" upon me, and I politely thanked them but refused.


When I began in the ministry as a 19 year old, I vainly sought to impress others with titles.

I put a "Rev" in from of my name. After college I put my degree notations after my name.

Then I saw the wisdom of being just plain Roosevelt, without all of the titles and self describing adjectives.

Now after 37 years of ministry and 30 years pastoring the same church, I'm still just plain "Roosevelt."

Whether I'm in front of large audiences, rubbing shoulders with the big wheels, rapping with the youth, or serving food to the homeless, I'm very comfortable being just plain "Roosevelt"-Servant.

That's the only title that will count before God anyway.