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Building Racial Harmony in Our Communities

Air Date 01/15/2018

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Carey Casey shares an inspiring message about racial unity and Christian love, and talks about the legacy passed on to him by his father and grandfather, who overcame hardships and blessed him through their accomplishments and the lessons they taught him.

Episode Transcript



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

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Mmm. Carey Casey speaking on Focus on the Family. It’s Martin Luther King Junior Day in the U.S. as we honor that great civil rights leader. And Carey has a message for us about loving our neighbor, regardless of skin color or background. Thanks for joining us today. Your host is Focus president Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, hearing that clip reminds me of a very special and memorable chapel service we had at Focus with Carey Casey as one of our honored guests. He’s a dear friend and a brother to me. He is the most consistent person, just sending me a note saying, hey Jim, I’m praying for you today.

John: Hmm. Wow.

Jim: He’s that good of a man. Carey is the president of the National Center for Fathering and he’s on staff at Lawndale Christian Community Church in Chicago. In fact, he is ministering in the inner-city where Martin Luther King, Jr. used to live. When he spoke at Focus on the Family, it was electric. I think you can feel it in that short clip we just played. He shared a powerful message about building racial harmony in our communities.

John: Okay, let’s go ahead and get into it. Here’s Carey Casey on Focus on the Family.


Audience: (Applause)

Carey:I am so very honored to be here, and as I stated, being black and Baptist and a preacher, also, we could be here all day. (Laughter and Applause) But anyway, um...You must be secure in who you are. (Shouts) God did not make a mistake (Shouts) when He made us-- red, yellow, black and white. We are precious in His sight.

When I look at what you all have on this stage here, Nat King Cole and Aretha Franklin, the pictures on the stage here and Louis Armstrong and Mahalia 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, still black. And when Idie, my brother’s a mortician; he’s the last one to let you down. But when Idie, I’m still gonna be black.

Now looking at Jim, 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. (Laughter) When they go out in the sun, they turn red. When they go out in the cold, they turn Carolina blue. (Laughter) And when they die, they’re gonna be purple. So, Jim, why do y’all call me “colored”? But anyway... (Laughter and Applause) I’m just kiddin’.

Y’all come back with me. I’m sorry. My father would be mad at me. “Son, you need to be more formal than that.” But anyway (Laughter), but I think aboutit. 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 sat 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 are so blessed and we’ve been married for 40 years, but we have three grown children,and then we kept having fun andnow 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. Bein’ 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 12th 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 havin’ more fun than us. But I think about dad and mom, eight months after daddy, on my 45th birthday, she 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. It’s 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 Titansor whatever? Any … some of you have seen it? All right. Well, anyway, I know the ladies remember it because Denzel Washington is the star. (Cheers) But anyway, uh … I don’t know how we’re the same age, but he looks so much better. (Laughter)

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 played wide receiver.

And I remembered in the movie how they beat us on the last play of the game. I loved that. But in real life, they beat us 27 to 0. (Laughter) And so, (Laughter) 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, talkin’ 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, talkin’ 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 had got in my face about somethin’. They’re 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 would come up to me. (speaking Korean) “Where’re you from?” I said, “I’m from America.” They said, “Oh, U.S.A., No. 1 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 the home. When that happens, they’re more likely to be poor, more likely to drop out of school, be involved in crime. Girls are more likely to be pregnant as a teenager. But, by daddy just bein’ 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 bein’ there, those statistics flip flop. (Sound of clap of hands)

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 want to tell you somethin’. Your coach is the winningest coach in the state of Virginia.” At that time he was. “And son, he won before you got here. (Laughter) He will win after you leave. Son, you need the team more than the team needs you. By the way, your name, you are a Casey, and you are a Christian. Son, there’s a way that we roll in our family. In essence, your Coach is not a racist. He is checkin’ 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 sayin’. 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. (Applause) That’s bottom line. That’s bottom line. (Applause)

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. [I] opened up the box. This is a lot of history in 1971, opened up the Christmas box. Three boxes had three plaques. I do not remember the other two plaques, but I remember my dad’s favorite book in the Bible,Ecclesiastes, chapter 12 (Sound of clap of hands) in verse 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 them.” Sons, the richest, the wisest king, he didn’t say, Remember the Titans. (Laughter and Applause) Remember Thy Creator.Who really gave us our DNA.

And dad used to say this, also. “Son, if you’re gonna lead the orchestra, you have to turn your back to the crowd.” If I would’ve listened to the voices in the cafeteria (Sound of clap of hands) that day, I never would’ve met Melanie, my bride, the four children and the nine grandchildren.

We 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 and it came to my mind years ago, the’T’of Titans.We have to beTeachable.I’m thankful thatFocus on the Familytoday and the young folks that set here and you share the history. You’re not [as] old as us, but you share some things that us older folks did not know, but we must be teachable.

And I think about2 Timothy 2 and 15.It states, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the Word of God.”

And when you study, usin’ that 2 ½ pound sponge in … sponge in your skull called a “brain,” that can hold more information than the greatest computer, because God made that brain. (Audience response) Learning from one another, blacks and whites, bein’ teachable. Don’t be a know-it-all where you have it all together, but learn from one another.

Focus must be havin’ some classes or something, but all of you were clapping on beat. (Laughter) What is heaven gonna be like? Tom Landry, Cowboys is white. My daddy, African-American, but they’re clapping on beat. But you gotta 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 to Play-Doh, when they pass out the real dough, you can’t get any, because you’re nothing but a do-do. (Applause)

What am I saying? And that is this.(Applause) Be teachable, but what’s the next letter? I gotta get through this

But anyway (Laughter) 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, “Ah, you’re white; I’m black. Well, this is who you …” I trust him, because I get to know him, his heart andfor 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 peak when you have integrity inProverbs 10 and 9.It also says inProverbs 11 and 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. He will not lead you astray.

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 lovin’ your bride and you’re loving your children and you’re loving your husband. You’re doing what’s right.

Eventually the wicked will die out. They …every knee is going to bow.Every tongue shall confess.Please forgive me, but we were supposed to just be in chapel. This is not Sunday morning. (Laughter) 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 gonna be Tested.In the richest and most powerful country in the world, someone’s gonna call all y’all a name. Somebody’s gonnatear you down. (Sound of clap of hands) They’re gonna tell you, “You don’t measure up. Look at you. Your hair’s getting grey. You do not measure up.”

(Laughter) Shoot you straight. You’re gonna be tested. Why do you have a black friend? Why do you have a white friend? And that is, you’re gonna have all of this coming at you. You’re gonna be tested, but I like this inJames, chapter 1, verse 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’re ready to die.” “No, son, you must experience life.” As I get older, trials come, but consider it joy when he (the devil) lies to us, be depressed, be negative. No, no, no, I peeked at the last page and we win! (Audience Response and Applause)

I must go. The clock’s running fast, but the’A’of Titans is your Attitude.Philippians 2 and 5, “Make your own attitude that of Jesus Christ.”And He knew he was gonna have to die for you and for me. All the other religions, we can go through all of the gods that we prop up,died, did not get back up. But Jesus, the Christ (Shouts), the Beginning and the End (Applause), the Alpha and the Omega, I’m sorry, y’all, I just get excited. (Audience Response) There’s nothin’ like bein’ on the winning team. (Audience Response) and knowing that you have the greatest head coachthat ever lived.

And is still living. (Audience Response) The best team. But He tells me, “Carey, you stay in your lane. Jim Daly, stay in your lane. Fuller, stay in your lane.” It’s something, pastor, that you can do that no one else can do. All of us that are sitting in here, don’t feel bad sometimes that oh, my goodness, on the broadcast, I don’t mean to embarrass us, but don’t think because you are white, you can’t get the net, let it on the rim. (Laughter) You can still slam dunk, because of who you are and whose you are in Jesus Christ! That’s what I’m sayin’.

Now, where are we at here? But anyway … the attitude of Jesus Christ, not to be negative, but to learn, be teachable, learning from one another with the attitude of Christ. Don’t be negative and seein’ the glass as half empty. It’s half full. I’m thankful that God allows us to have that attitude that He has.

But the end, never forget my daddy. He laid in the care center. He had Parkinson’s. His hands would shake. He couldn’t talk well. He couldn’t walk anymore. I came in to see him one day in Virginia. I flew in. I said, “Daddy, give me some words.[I’m] on the go. I’m traveling.”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 a[n] 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, greatest actor, Jimmy Stewart in “Shenandoah.” You must see that movie, 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 … that said you can’t do in worship. But God has used them and He wants to use you. And I’ll never forget how dad laid there, and he was always more brilliant than us, no matter how many degrees we have, and he did not have a degree. But daddy laid there and he said, “Son, you tell them, it’s nice to be important. It is more important to be nice.” (Applause) And he’d blink his eye at me, “Aha!” (Sound of clap of hands) (Laughter)

But then he would say this, Jim, “Oh, my goodness,Philippians 2 and 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 (Clap of hands) 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. (emotion)And 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. Glad that they let me know it was 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,it reminds me of when I was in seminary and I had to preach a Father’s Day sermon. We had our two little girls, 2 and 4 and Christy, who was four, was in the front room as I was finishin’ my notes. My bride was getting dressed in the little bedroom, back then. They were runnin’ around, scurrying and havin’ fun.

But Christy, 4-years-old, she ran. She leaped in my lap that morning and she said, “Daddy, are you gonna be a sermon today?” (Laughter) I changed my title that day to, “Are You Gonna Be a Sermon?”

You can preach. You can have all of the wonderful thoughts and reason, but they will know that we are a Christian by our love. (Audience Reaction)

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. (Applause) And God bless America.


John: Carey Casey on Focus on the Family from a chapel service here on campus. We gathered all our staff and there was a lot of emotion in the room that day, Jim.

Jim: There was. It was a special time and I appreciate what Carey had to share. We didn’t have enough time in our program to complete the acronym from his message about the Titans! And the letter ‘N’ points us to the Name Above All Names, Jesus, putting Him first in our lives. And then the final letter ‘S’ stands for Special. We are each uniquely created by God in His image.

John, this came to my mind the other day-- even identical twins have different fingerprints. It’s, I think, God’s way of saying you aren’t exactly the same, you still are unique.

John: Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that, but that’s really interesting. And those points that Carey has made here are summarized. We’re putting that up on our website, so you can review that and while you’re there, get the free audio download of this message. It’ll have additional content and we also have a CD available for you as well. Details at or when you call 800-232-6459.

Next time on Focus on the Family, a fantastic visit with Scott Klusendorf, who helps us engage in pro-life conversations in winsome and loving way.


Scott Klusendorf: When somebody says, well, I don’t accept that that’s a human being early on, here’s a great question to get your critic thinking: How do two parents, two human parents, create offspring that is not human but later becomes so?

End of Teaser

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Carey Casey

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Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering. He is widely known as an ambassador for fathers, a dynamic speaker who inspires dads to be the best they can be. Carey serves on the White House Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families, and is a member of the executive committee of the National Fatherhood Leaders Group. He served for nearly 20 years with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and also as a chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys under famed head coach Tom Landry. Carey is the author of Championship Fathering and general editor of the book The 21-Day Dad's Challenge. He and his wife, Melanie, reside in Chicago, where he is a staff member at their place of worship, Lawndale Christian Community Church. The couple has four children and nine grandchildren.