Focus on the Family Broadcast

Building Racial Harmony in Our Communities

Building Racial Harmony in Our Communities

Carey Casey shares an inspiring message about racial unity and Christian love, and discusses the legacy passed on to him by his father and grandfather.
Original Air Date: January 15, 2018


Carey Casey: You can preach, you can have all of the wonderful thoughts and reason. But they will know that we are Christians, by our love.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Carey Casey, here on Focus on the Family. It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the US, and we honor the great civil rights leader and Carey has an important message for all of us about loving our neighbor regardless of their background or skin color. Thanks for joining us today, your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, hearing that clip reminds me of a special and memorable chapel service we had at Focus with Carey Casey as our honored guest. He’s a dear friend and a brother to me. That guy is so good, on Father’s Day, he’s always the first one to shoot me a text, or Christmas wishing me, a, you know, a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. He’s just so good relationally and such a good man. He talks about how to love others, and he demonstrates that very much so in his everyday life. There are strong forces in the culture that want to divide us and get us fighting with each other. I think we all see that today. Uh, but we can’t give into those voices that separate us. And Carey has some great words of wisdom, to help us, uh, see through the chaos to God’s heart for all of his children. That’s each one of us. And we need this message maybe now more than ever.

John: That’s exactly what I was thinking Jim. And Carey is a pastor at Lawndale Christian Community Church in Chicago. He’s ministering in the inner city where Martin Luther King Jr. used to live. And Carey is also the founder and CEO of Championship Fathering. When he spoke here at Focus on the Family, it was electric. A very powerful message about building racial harmony in our communities. Here now Carey Casey on Focus on the Family.

Carey: I am so very honored to be here. And as I stated being Black and Baptists and a preacher also, we could be here all day. But anyway, you must be secure in who you are. God did not make a mistake when he made us. Red, Yellow, Black and White, we are precious in his sight. When I look at what y’all have on this stage here, Nat King Cole and Aretha Franklin, the pitches on the stage here and Louis Armstrong and Heylia Jackson, you’re learning. But I thank God that He made all of us be secure in who you are. Because I think about it. When I was born, I was black. When I grew up, I was still black. When I get sick, I’m still black. When I go out in the sun, I’m still black. And when I die, my brother’s a mortician, he’s the last one to let you down. But when I die, I’m still gonna be black. Now, looking at Jim and Fuller here, and all of them, when they were born, they were pink when they grew up, they were white. When they get sick, they turn green. When they go out in the sun, they turn red. When they go out in the cold, they turn Carolina blue. And when they die, they’re gonna be purple. So Jim, why do y’all call me color. But anyway, I’m just kidding. Y’all come back with ’em. I’m sorry, my father would be mad at me, “Son, you need to be more formal than that.” But anyway, but I think about it. I only have a few moments. But the greatest thing that happened to me at the University of North Carolina was when I went to geography class, and I sit on that front row. And I turned around I saw a sweetheart with an Afro about this big. And I looked at her and I turned around after class she had snuck out the back door. I went out the front door. I chased her down. But we’re so blessed, and we’ve been married for 40 years, but we have three grown children and then we kept having fun. And now we have Chance. He came when we were 41. He’s a sophomore in college and he just turned 20 years of age. And we have nine grandchildren. But I think about it, being married to Melanie, yes. But then I have a mom, I had a mom and pop, dad went to be with the Lord on February 12, 2000. The same day as my mentor coach Tom Landry. I used to be chaplain with the Dallas Cowboys. Both of them went to heaven and they’re partying and having more fun than us. But I think about dad and mom eight months after daddy on my 45th birthday, she be- went to be with the Lord. But I think about all that I’ve learned over the years. And in my life, how many of you, let me ask you a question real quick. In fact, well, before that, dad shared with me also, he said, “Son, don’t ever forget it. Opportunity will come, is going to come. The ball will bounce your way, one day, son, but when it comes your way, when opportunity comes, will you notice it? And if you notice it, will you be prepared? Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” But I think about it, when I was a little 16-year-old sophomore, how many of you by the way have seen the movie Remember the Titans or whatever? And if some of you seen it, all right, well, anyway, I know the ladies remember because Denzel Washington is the star. But anyway, I don’t know how we’re the same age, but he looks so much better. But, in that movie, Remember the Titans, I had the privilege to be on the team that lost to the Titans in real life in the state championship game. The Blue Uniforms was my team. They said our team was all white, but it wasn’t. We had eight African Americans on our team. And we played against the Titans back in 1971. I was a 16-year-old sophomore, I ran back kicks and play wide receiver. And I remembered in the movie how they beat us on the last play of the game. I love that. But in real life, they beat us 27 to zero. And so, or whatever. Hollywood has to fix that. But I don’t feel bad because only three teams scored on them that year. They were very, very good. The reason why I’m telling you that is this, after my senior year, I was on coach Boone who Denzel portrayed. I was on his all-star team in Virginia. I was a pretty good athlete. And he coached me that year. But anyway, talking about the Titans, and that is this. They beat us pretty bad and all that. But the same year we lost to the Titans, my white coach, talking about African American History month, my white coach got in my face about something. I go to the cafeteria blacks on one side, whites on another. I sit with my black friends, and I shared with them that my coach got my face about something. They like, “Carey, quit the team. Don’t play for that racist coach. Don’t be an Uncle Tom.” Here’s why dads are greatly needed. In the richest and most powerful country in the world, when I was a chaplain in Seoul, South Korea at the ’88 games, the, uh, folks will come up to me, [foreign language]. “Where are you from?” I said, “I’m from America.” They say, “Oh, USA, number one country,” and this type of thing. But in the richest and most powerful country in the world, tonight, 25 million children will go to bed without their biological father in their home. When that happens, they’re more likely to be poor, more likely to drop out of school, be involved in crime, girls more likely to be pregnant as a teenager. But, by daddy just being there, those statistics flip flop, believe it or not, no perfect dads. I’m not, Jim’s not, we’re gonna have struggles. But, by dad being there, those statistics flip flop. I’m glad that when I went home that day from the cafeteria, “Daddy, I’m quitting the team. I don’t want to play for that racist coach. I’m not gonna be an Uncle Tom.” My daddy, my dad said, “Son, I wanna tell you something. Your coach is the winningest coach in the state of Virginia.” At that time he was. “And son, he won before you got here. He will win after you leave. Son, you need the team more than the team needs you. By the way, your name, you’re a Casey, and you’re a Christian. Son, there’s a way that we roll in our family. In essence, your coach is not a racist. He is checking out your character, and your loyalty. Son, you need the team more than the team needs you.” I’ll never forget it. I went back to that team. That was in 1971 when daddy told me that. The movie came out 30 years later. Here’s what I’m saying. There are decisions that we will make, there are decisions that our children will make, that will literally dictate where we will be, or our legacy will be 30 years from now. My mother and father never saw that movie. But the information that dad gave me literally allows me to know Jim Daly who was white, Carey Casey, who’s African American, and he is my brother because of the blood of the Lamb of Jesus Christ.

Audience: Applause.

Carey: That’s bottom line. That’s bottom line. All of us are created in His image. But I think about as I went back, Remember the Titans. But my dad gave me a Christmas gift that year, “Open up the box,” this is a lot of history in 1971. “Open up the Christmas box.” Three boxes have three plaques. I do not remember the other two plaques. But I remembered my dad’s favorite book in the Bible, Ecclesiastes, Chapter 12:1, “Sons, remember thy creator, in the days of your youth, before the evil days draw nigh, when you will say, I have no pleasure in there.” Sons, the richest, the wisest king, he didn’t say, remember the Titans. Remember thy creator who really gave us our DNA. And dad used to say this also, “Son, if you’re going to lead the orchestra, you have to turn your back to the crowd.” If I would have listened to the voices in the cafeteria that day, I never would have met Melanie, my bride before children and the nine grandchildren. To travel the world because of who Christ is and communicating his message. But these last few moments that we have to share today. I think about it, and it came to my mind years ago, the “T” of Titans. We have to be teachable. I’m thankful that Focus on the Family today, and the young folks that sit here, and you share the history. You’re not old as us, but you share some things that us older folks did not know. But we must be teachable. And I think about 2 Timothy 2:15, it states, “Be diligent to present yourself or prove to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the Word of God.” And when you study using that two-and-a-half-pound sponge in your skull called a brain that can hold more information than the greatest computer because God made that brain. Learning from one another, Blacks and Whites being teachable. Don’t be a know it all where you have it all together but learn from one another. Uh, Focus must be having some classes of something but all of you were clapping on beat. What is heaven gonna be like? Tom Landry Cowboys is white, my daddy African American, but they’re clapping on beat. But you got to learn from one another. Don’t look down on folks that are different than you. I tell the young people in high schools, “Don’t sit there all day, and watch all that TV and play all that Nintendo and watch all that video and then your mind turns the play dough. When they pass out the real dough, you can’t get any because you’re nothing but a dough, dough.”

Audience: Applause.

Carey: What am I saying? And that is this. Be teachable. But what’s the next letter? I got to get through this. But anyway, the next letter of Titans is “I”, is Integrity. That’s what we’re wrestling with in our country today, integrity. But we must be honest, your integrity will carry you and me much further than a lot of things we do. Because if you can’t be trusted, honesty, I trust Jim Daly. I’m not gonna sit there and look at like, “Well, you’re white, I’m black.” Well, this is who… I trust him because I get to know him, his heart, and for me, we see each other we embrace. But integrity, it says this right here the one who lives with integrity lives securely. But whoever perverts his way, will be found out. You don’t have to sneak and peek when you have integrity in Proverbs 10:9. It also says in Proverbs 11:3. The integrity of the upright guides them. You don’t need a GPS when you walk with Christ with integrity. He will guide you. He will lead you. Listen to this, “But the perversity of the treacherous destroys them.” Don’t worry about your wicked friends. Don’t worry about your neighbors that think you’re weird because you’re a Christian and you’re loving your bride, and you’re loving your children, you’re loving your husband, you’re doing what’s right. Eventually, the wicked will die out. They, every knee going to bow. Every tongue shall confess. Please forgive me that we’re supposed to just be in chapel. This is not Sunday morning.

Audience: Laughter.

Carey: But the integrity of the upright, guides them. You don’t have to be the best and the brightest. But anyway, what’s the next letter. The T, you’re going to be tested. In the richest, most powerful country in the world, someone’s gonna call you out of your name. Somebody is gonna tear you down. They’re gonna tell you, you don’t measure you up. “Look at you, your hair’s getting gray.” You do not measure up, shoot just straight, you’re going to be tested. “Why do you have a black friend? Why do you have a white friend?” And then you’re gonna have all of this coming at you. You’re gonna be tested. But I liked this in James 1:2 and 4. Consider it a great joy. My brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, but endurance must do its complete work, not halfway, so that you may be mature, complete and lacking nothing. Now I know why pop used to say, “Son, you do not get good until you’re 50, 60 and 70.” I said, “Pop, you ready to die?” “No son, you must experience life.” As I get older, trials come but consider it joy. When he lies to us, be depressed, be negative. No, no, no. I peeked at the last page, and we win.

Audience: Applause.

Carey: I must go the clocks running fast. With the “A” of Titans is your attitude. Philippians 2:5, “Make your own attitude that of Jesus Christ.” He knew he was gonna have to die for you and for me. All of the other religions, we can go through all of the gods that we prop up. Die did not get back up. But Jesus, the Christ, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. I’m sorry, I just get excited. It’s nothing like being on the winning team. And knowing that you have the greatest head coach that ever lived and is still living. The best team. But he tells me, Carey you stay in your lane. Jim Daly, stay in your lane. Fuller, stay in your lane. Is something pastor that, that you can do, that no one else can do. All of us that are sitting in here, don’t feel bad sometimes and, “Oh my goodness I own the broadcast. I don’t mean embarrassing,” but don’t think because you’re white you can’t get the net, let alone the rim. You can still slam dunk because of who you are and whose you are in Jesus Christ. That’s what I’m saying. Where are we at here? But anyway, the attitude of Jesus Christ is not to be negative but to learn, teachable learning from one another but the attitude of Christ. Don’t be negative and seeing the glass is half empty, it’s half full. I’m thankful that God allows us to have that attitude that He has. But the end, I’ll never forget my daddy delayed in the care center, he had Parkinson’s. His hands would shake, he couldn’t talk well, he couldn’t walk anymore. Came in to see him one day in Virginia, I flew in, and I said, “Daddy, give me some words.” And pop was a very intelligent man. I have so many stories that I would want to share but don’t have the time. World War II vet. Fought for this country. Because of his race, he couldn’t take his boy at times to get ice cream cone in our town. Couldn’t go to the movie theater, but he wasn’t negative. One day you will. One day we were able to go to the movie theater. We had to sit in the balcony, “Dad, there are seats down there.” “It’s okay, son, we’re fine.” But I watched one of the greatest movies ever. My greatest actors, Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah, you must see that movie. A civil war movie in Virginia. But we watched that movie. Daddy was always forward thinking and looking. “You’re not supposed to have the good talk.” And all the, they said you can’t do and worship. But God has used, and He wants to use you. Never forget how dad laid there, and he was always more brilliant than us. No matter how many degrees we have. He did not have a degree. But daddy laid there, he said, “Son, you tell them. It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” He blinked his eye at me, “Ah ha.” But then he would say this Jim, Philippians 2:4. “For this reason, God highly exalted Him. Jesus, the Christ.” So America with all this going on, individually in your neighborhood, in your family. Gentlemen, show the other folks in your community, how a man of God treats his bride. Ladies, show the ladies in the neighborhood, how a bride is supposed to function. But as I come to a close, don’t ever forget it. I’m thankful that on both sides of my family, the gospel of Jesus Christ, salvation. Mom’s dad was a pastor. Dad’s dad was a deacon. Daddy was a deacon in the Baptist Church. I’m thankful that they shared the gospel of Christ with me when I was young, because I know Jesus Christ. I’ve been able to be blessed in ways I could never dream. I’m glad that they let me know that it’s deeper than race. Because the neighborhood and the city that we’re gonna go to when we leave here is not made with human hands. It’s made with hands that made you and made me. God bless America, yes. God made the whole wide world. And as we live for Him, and as they view you and me reminds me when I was in seminary, at a preacher Father’s Day sermon, we had our two little girls, two and four. And Christy who’s four was in the front room as I was finishing my notes. My bride was getting dressed in the little bedroom back then. They were running around scurrying and having fun. But Christy, four years old. She ran, she leapt in my lap that morning. And she said, “Daddy, are you gonna be a sermon today?” I changed my title that day to, “Are you going to be a sermon?” You can preach. You can have all of the wonderful thoughts and reasons. But they will know that we are Christians, by our love. All of us can be a sermon. You may not be able to stand in front of a crowd and say something, but in your neighborhood, in your town, in your state, in America, in the world, don’t remember the Titans, but remember, your Creator God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I wish I had more time, but I’m thankful that I had this privilege to share with you today. And God bless you. And God bless America.

Audience: Applause.

John: That’s Carey Casey on Focus on the Family. And that was from a live chapel service here on our campus. Jim, there was a lot of emotion in the room that day.

Jim: There was, and it was a special time and I appreciate what Carey had to share. Here at Focus, we’re committed to bringing people together and loving one another as Jesus taught us to do. May I say commands us to do. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time in our program to complete the acronym from his message about the Titans. And you may have missed it. But the letter N, points us to the name above all names, Jesus and putting him first in our lives. And the final letter S stands for special. Each of us is unique, created in God’s image and we’ll put that on the website for you to look at. I want to encourage you today to look for opportunities to speak and act with grace and compassion, and be a messenger of God’s shalom, his peace in the culture today.

John: I appreciate that. And I do hope you’ll request a CD of this message. We still have a lot of folks getting CDs. There’s additional content on that. You can share it with a friend or listen again. We’re going to send that to you for gift of any amount. And all the details are at or call 1 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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