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Racism is Contagious

Racism is not as pretty as these flowers

 

Contagious definition, capable of being transmitted by bodily contact with an infected person or object

Racism definition, a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement

 

Communicable diseases are caused by pathogens passed from one human to another. Pathogens are viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal. If that be true, then I suspect racism is a communicable disease.  Let’s take a look as some other communicable diseases:

  1. Common Cold – you have it, you sneeze, touch the door knob or the well-known infectious location – the elementary classroom;
  2. Gastroenteritis – spread by contact, sharing food, using contaminated utensils;
  3. Strep Throat – A streptococci bacteria targeted to teens, by sneezing, coughing or shaking hands;
  4. Fifth Disease – spreads easily because it’s contagious before one has symptoms via direct contact with nasal and throat discharge;
  5. Gonorrhea – a sexually transmitted disease
  6. Racism –  caused by lack of understanding, breeding, and family belief systems.  This disease is spread via contact with a racist, reading about a racism and racists, teens are highly susceptible to this disease because of their age and lack of understanding and wisdom, it can be shared at the dinner table, on the bus, plane, and railways.  Racism easily spreads through the eyes and ears via the following:

I read a post a few minutes ago, subject matter: President Obama chose to go to his daughter’s graduation instead of going to Muhammad Ali’s funeral.  Someone replied, “Why would anyone care?” Another poster replied, “…because he’s black…”  You have got to be kidding me! Racism has become contagious when an issue between two different races defaults to “because they are _____________.”

 

#RacismisContagious, #racism

MsConcerned

 

 

 

 

Dreams

Write God Will Ignite_001

 

  Genesis 41:12

And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.

 

I was prompted to write a book years ago it was a suggestion from my then mother-in-law.  I thought to myself, #hmm what a nice interesting idea.  I had so many thoughts about what I would write, about who and when.  I attempted a hundred thousand times to put my thoughts on paper; I would write a page, walk away, I would open the document read that one page and allow some other opportunity to distract me.   I could not come up with a creative or interesting thought provoking ways to start writing that would take me, my thoughts and my readers to the end of the book.  I rejected every idea that entered into my head, I could write about my life – too messy, I could write about the good moments – unrealistic reading, I could write about the messy and dark days of my life – too many, alas I defaulted to – book writing was not for me, it was the perfect “out”.

Over the years since the idea was suggested back in 1998 I have attempted to pick up the “keyboard” (well you know who uses pen and paper to write anything anymore).  Over and over I would attempt to write and each I failed only to give way to the demands of life or simple procrastination.  It would prevent me from settling down to focus on writing, something I now believe I was called to do.  I was given suggestions by various people some face to face and some by virtual means to write this book. I remember having a phone interview and the HR manager on the other end said to me during our interview, “I want to read your book…” #hmm well we had not talked about me writing a book or anything about my life other than work related subjects.  I have frequently reminded to continue to write on this book, some reminders were so vivid and clear that I began to trust that God wanted me to write.  Each time I heard another suggestion or demand to write I would return to the place in the document where I left off writing and I would encounter the same “you can’t do this” thought, [who wants to read another story about someone’s life they don’t know, and what has made my life interesting enough for strangers to read]?  I noticed at some point the suggestions to write a book were coming so fast and from so many directions I had no other recourse but to give into the notion that I was to write a book or else!

I thought to myself where do I begin, with childhood memories – boring and confusing, I thought about my relationships – not enough substance, what about my dark years – how many more stories do we need about a black woman coming through the “struggle”.  Then the light bulb went off (if you will) I’m thinking more like I received the inspiration from you know who, I remembered a dream I had in the third grade and the story began to unravel.

Genesis 41:12

And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.

Dreams by definition are a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.  Please do not get this confused with fortune telling, sorcery, witchcraft, or oneiromancy for this is not.  I’m simply telling the story as it was designed for me to share with you.Of course I have had those dreams we’ve often heard about, you know the ones where you’re falling but you may or may not hit the ground, and wake up relieved and/or frightened, or the dreams of something running after you.   The Bible tells us of dreams and visions from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation.  Jacob received God’s promise that Abraham’s blessing would be carried on, Joseph was shown his family would respect him, and Daniel had understanding in all dreams.  I’ve had hundreds of dreams; some I remember others I do not.  There have been times when I awoke and felt afraid and there have been some dreams I actually tried to go back to sleep and finish because they were so enjoyable.

The story of Jonah is about a man who God called to deliver a message.  Jonah was called by God to deliver a message to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.  He wasn’t willing to make that journey so he started one of his own which lead him to the farthest point in the other direction away from God, or so he thought.  When called by God, Jonah’s selfish desires caused God to have to break Jonah.  Jonah had to learn that you can’t hide or run from God and about the mercy and grace of God; much like Jonah I have run from God on many occasion only to find He was there all the time no matter where, who or what I ran to.  Trust and believe I’ve had my share of being in the whale.  God has over the years has dealt with me in my dreams, I suspect that is because I was too busy to be still long enough for Him to get my attention – or so I thought.

When you are not busy come with me to the next Bus Stop, and find out about  #thebus, I hope you enjoy the ride.

 

 

 

 

Take Me To Church – Another View

Hozier Take Me To Church

Hozier: ‘Take Me to Church’ Music Video Review

Dec 31, 2014

In a lot of ways, music videos are like mini movies. They can entertain you and make you laugh or hit you deep and make you think, the latter of which is usually achieved by the artists who tell a real story over the go-to live performance. Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” certainly achieves the latter.

I had heard Hozier’s hit track several times on various platforms, whether it be the radio or a live performance on some television broadcast. Neither of these is surprising for a song currently peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart sandwiched between Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” What was surprising, however, was how the man behind the music, 24-year-old Irishman Andrew Hozier-Byrne, decided to portray the track in video form.

“Take Me to Church” first appeared on Hozier’s debut EP of the same name in 2013, but with the song’s recent rise to fame, I (and probably many others) hadn’t been pushed to discover the year-old video until now.

The lyrics of the Grammy-nominated tune are a tad deeper than the usual heavyweights of Top 40 radio, which surely lends to the equally as heavy storyline portrayed through excellent editing and cinematography.

Being in all black and white allows for the viewer to truly soak in the elements of the plot. Despite Hozier referencing an interest in a girl (“My lover’s got humor / She’s the giggle at a funeral”), the video shows how corrupt the world can be in regards to the same-sex relationship between two men.

The story begins with one of the men riding a bike while the other buries a box, which is about as descriptive as you can get in a music video using actors and offering no names. The bike rider meets with the box burier at the burial site. They soon venture off together to make out and are spotted from afar by a man in a black coat with its hood up, making only his face visible.

The story flashes back and forth between the box being buried again and the bike rider quickly packing to run to the box burier’s home. When he arrives, he finds a scene of destruction where the man in the black coat—now with a bandana concealing his face—and others like him had tossed aside material items and a family member in pursuit of the box burier before snatching him from the burial site.

Happy moments between the couple are peppered in between the intense segments to show the viewer how much they mean to each other in this story. This helps support the bike rider’s further search for the box burier who is shown elsewhere being dragged towards a large fire. The chained box is now in the possession of the mystery men who hold it in front of the box burier as to taunt him before trying to smash it open. When their attempts are unsuccessful, they toss it in the fire. They then surround the box burier and begin kicking him from all angles as the bike rider watches on from afar.

While everyone may have their own interpretation, mine is that this video is largely a metaphorical depiction of our world’s view on homosexuality. The two men harbor a secret of attraction, physically shown in the form of a box chained shut and buried underground so that no one can crack it. People find out, represented by the anonymity of the mystery men in black coats and bandana-covered faces, and they lash out.

They take the secret—the box—and taunt one of the men with it. They try to open it to see it, or understand it, and when they can’t, they destroy it, which hurts him emotionally. However, they don’t stop there, adding to the pain with kicks, which are physical metaphors for the pain they cause. The men’s relationship with each other is different and unlike anything they’ve experienced, so they toss it aside and torture the ones who harbor it, whether it be the men themselves or the ones who protect them like the family member who was pushed aside.

MsConcerned

“Take Me to Church” was re-released on Hozier in October. The track is up for Song of the Year at the 57th annual Grammy awards.

References

Hozier – Take Me To Church [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYSVMgRr6pw

 

I Went to the Garden Alone

 

Any Christian or Gospel song I hear, is more to me than a set of sounds with words (that may or may not include the name of Jesus, God or Holy Spirit) applied to the melody.  The song must have a beginning, middle, and end – most importantly, the song must tell a story.  That story must offer hope for hopeless, peace for the troubled, and rest for the weary last but not lease salvation for the lost.  In that story, it must also help encourage me to increase my faith; move from fear to faith, from anger to peace, from pain to joy, from bound to being free!  A song can also help take me to a place of pure worship; in other words, it can set the “stage” (if you will) to embrace the spirit of God and praise Him with all my heart….

With that said here’s my take on Marvin Sapp’s song “In the Garden”.

“…I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses…”

– Have you ever seen a rose or a flower on a summer morning?  Imagine looking out your window and the view of a long country road lined with roses early in the am.  Just after sun rise and the dew is still on the roses from the cool of the evening meeting the warmth of the sun.  How peaceful that picture looks to me in my vision.  God is the God of peace, imagine being on the outside of that window, where the sun is shining brightly but not hot, and you begin to pray.  As you look around you see the roses and the dew and you imagine to yourself – wow who would have taken the time to create such a beautiful flower and think to create an object that would not only warm that flower, but create a night that would turn into day so that, that same flower could get some water without RAIN. Surely if He took care of a rose and saw to all of its needs surely He will provide for me and you!

“And the voice I hear falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses, He speaks and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet that the birds they hush their singing, and the melody that He sends to me, within my heart is still ringing…”

When I pray, and I’m still I can hear the voice of God speak to me.  That’s right I can hear him.  Although His voice is not always like the artists describes, sometimes He just very direct especially when I’m not listening to him – much like a parent.  Oh but when I hear that sweet sound of His voice, that would make the birds hush, my soul cries out and I just want to scream from the top of my lungs, Lord forgive me for ALL the wrong I’ve done, or I can’t seem to thank Him enough for all that He’s had done and/or for all that He WILL do!  That feeling and sound can reverberate in my ears, my eyes (though watching other people get blessed) my heart and my soul sometimes for weeks at a clip.

“..and, and He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me that I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry, tarry there, none other has ever, ever known…”

As we talk (prayer) shared conversation (I listen) I often hear Him say, don’t you worry my child, I have everything under control.  When I walk and talk with Him words cannot adequately describe but I’ll give it a shot.  Think about the worst time in your life, the most painful situation you have been in or may be still going through, think about the husband or wife that abandoned you, that parent that said you would never be anything and they still verbally abuse you, think about all the times you messed up!  Now, think about your favorite food, your favorite picture, your most trusted friend and the best time in your life, imagine the not having experience a “good” time yet, life just has been horrible – roll all that up as walk to YOUR garden and now visualize that rose in the morning’s sun with the dew… and you get on your knees, and simple say, I am a sinner and I’m sorry – I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead.
“…None other has ever, ever known…”

 

– His voice will now sound like no other voice you have ever known….

 

Peace and Blessing

 


References

Marvin Sapp- in the garden [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uttIAHmW_8