Rebuilding After the #Storm

I have seen so many people who go through life with a jaded spirit. I know how difficult the storms of life can be, where you are facing one calamity after another, only to find that the hope and optimism you once had is gone.  So often hopelessness becomes collateral damage after you get out of the storm.  It’s one thing to make it to the other side of a difficult problem, but often when we search the inner corridors of our soul we see that the storm has changed us forever.   

I have seen so many people who have lost all sense of joy and happiness in their life.  They are physically alive, but emotionally dead. No one talks about the emotional weight that storms put upon us.  I know that you have to act like everything is going right, I know you have to pretend that you can hold it all together.  But Today, I want you to take some of the weight off and become vulnerable.  It is not easy dealing with storms.  I know you had so much hope and joy and laughter in your life, and God is declaring today, it’s time to get your Joy Back! 

God doesn’t want you to just come through the storm alive, God wants you to flourish.   God wants you to have joy.  God wants to see you smile.   I have learned that in storms, I have to fight for my joy.  I refuse to give up my hope.  Tomorrow will be better than today.  Your latter shall be greater than your former.  Your best days lie ahead.  God wants you to thrive! 

Source: Rev. Nicholas Richards

2021 – 2021

You think about the moment it will happen after you reach a certain age. You think of all the things you’re going to do and say. You imagine those precious moments where it’s just the two of you and the smile you receive after you have taught a valuable lesson you hope it will last for years to come. You think of all the things you did wrong, all the wrong turns you took in your own life. You think of all the things you should have done and said. You remember those awful moments you had in your life – those mistakes that try to haunt you forever. Then the moment comes when your daughter says, “Mom, I’m pregnant!” You hear her say it and you’re filled with joy and pain simultaneously. You see my story isn’t so pretty, with great memories of a husband, a baby shower, a college fund, and great outings with grandparents. I made some very wrong turns in my life and it took me – for what seems like a lifetime to recover. Just when I thought I had it all together, the enemy came in like a flood and took me back to those long dark nights of pain. Then I escaped with the hand of God. Yeah, so when I heard those words I was frightened, fearful and joy was trying it’s hardest to seep through the darkness. One day – I smiled and thought to myself I’m going to be the best grandma ever! I thought about all the things I was going to say, the many times I would go against my daughter’s wishes and spoil that baby (just like my mother did). I thought about the times I would have to be a strong tower of faith for those moments when her child would give her grief. I wanted to do for that baby what I missed doing for my baby girl…

I watched her take great care dressing the warmer. She was so loving and thoughtful. I was both in awe and cringing with regret – you see I didn’t always deliver such loving and tender moments with my daughter. The enemy had me caught in the grips of addiction and fear. I watched her gently ask my daughter questions about her desires for the pictures and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how she delivered the disclosure about “next steps” as only someone who embodied great love and compassion for another human. Oh my, the floodgates have finally been released as I try and finish this story…

You see I just want to thank God even for the not so good moments – especially after my daughter delivered a still born baby.

I love you Zoey – good night my love…

Are You In A Storm?

Jesus is the Storm Bender. This story brings to mind something I read: The question is never, “Are you in a storm?” The question is, “Is Jesus in your boat?”

Jesus is the water-transforming, dead-raising, sick-healing, hope-giving, food-providing, resurrecting mankind, saving Son of God.

There He Is

I’m a lover of music, all genres but the one close to my heart is Gospel music. The lyrics have a way of moving my spirit. For example, if I’m feeling blessed the music can enhance that feeling, if I’m feeling lost and in despair, the music can lift my spirits. As I was traveling home the other day from the grocery store a song came on There He Is and as I listened to the words I began to tear. This world can seem overwhelming alone and cold during our current crisis of the pandemic and the government behaving like caged animals with no thought to the human condition. There was a time when the government took care of its citizens – dating to colonial days, the almshouse, in the United States, a locally administered public institution for homeless, aged persons without means. Such institutions radically declined in number in the second half of the 20th century, replaced by other means of subsistence and care more commonly known as section 8 and food stamps which does not help the homeless on the street. With that said I began to feel a sense of gratitude – the more I listened to the song the more I realized where my gratitude stemmed from.

One thing I like to do is share how I focus on the lyrics of the song and disclose what they mean to me, so here goes…

Lyrics to the song in black:

I wanna know                                                             I need to remember who guides my life
I wanna know
I wanna know

Who is the man who said He could save                                What He’s can/will do
And Who took my dark clouds away
And who said that they would bring joy to my day
And who said they’d wash all my sins away
Now who touched my heart and changed my life
And who is this One that sacrificed
Well, who heard my prayers in the middle of the night
And when I was blind who opened my eyes

Chorus
Oh, there He is                               Where is He
Reach out and touch Him
There He is
Call out His name
There He is
Don’t be afraid
There He is
Look up in the sky
There He is
It’s a bird it’s a plane
There He is
No it’s Jesus
There He is
Coming to save me
There He is
Hallelujah

Mmmmmm                             This is not a representation of pain, but that of peace
Mmmmmm

I wanna know
I wanna know
I wanna know

Now who told the Son to set me free            What He has done for me before I knew Him
Who laid down and died on Calvary
And who said the homeless was the same as me
Who took solid ground and placed my feet
And who gave the purpose and reason to sing
Who gave the music melody
When trouble was chasing who parted my sea
Somebody talk to me where is this King

Chorus

If you are young man strugglin’             Identification this is me, is it you?
Or a younger girl seekin’
You don’t have to search no more
Just look to the arms of Jesus
You can get Him for yourself
You don’t need nobody else
Jesus fall to your knees and pray

Searchin’ for Jesus                            

Lookin’ for Jesus

Searchin’ for Jesus

Lookin’ for Jesus

Searchin’ for Jesus

Lookin’ for Jesus

Searchin’ for Jesus

And you looking for Jesus, searching for Jesus

Chorus

There He is                      If you ever search for Him, He’s right there
Wherever I go
There He is
Wherever I turn
There He is
He’s all around
There He is
Reach out and touch Him
There He is
He’s right there
There He is
And He’s guaranteed to answer
There He is
All of your prayers
There He is
I can feel Him
There He is
Whoa yeah
There He is
He’s changing your life right now
There He is
Oh yes He is
There He is
There He is
There He is
When troubles come
There He is
Just close your eyes
There He is
And lift your head
There He is
Towards the sky
There He is
Just call on Him
There He is
And you shall find
There He is
He was there
There He is
All of the time
There He is
If your friends are around
There He is
Then you somewhere by yourself
There He is
Call on His name
There He is
He will be right there
There He is
No matter what the problem
There He is
Or the situation
There He is
My Jesus can fix it
There He is
With no hesitation
There He is
If your money is gone
There He is
And you need some help
There He is
On your dying bed
There He is
You’re not by yourself
Everywhere you turn
Everywhere you turn
Everywhere you turn
Everywhere you turn
Everywhere you go
Everywhere you go
All around
And when you walk
There He is
When you talk
There He is
And when you cry
There He is
Go down on your knees and call on Him
Jesus reach out and touch and believe He’s right there
There He is
And you can do all things through Christ Jesus that strengthens you
There He Is

https://linktr.ee/MsConcerned

 

#Psalm 23 Line By Line

Faith During the Storm

#Wounded #Soul

Language is inadequate to reach a wounded soul, as only the touch of a loving God can heal an injury to the spirit.

I’m Trying

With the world hitting me over the head at every turn, I’m trying my best to remain faithful.  How about you, how do you handle the cares of this world?

Self-Care

Ever feel like hurting yourself?

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Self-Mutilation
  • Overspending
  • Isolation
  • Casual Sex
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Allowing toxic people in your life
  • Risky situations
  • Watching things that make you feel worse
  • Avoidance

Here are some steps to deliverance

1. Honesty

Be honest with yourself and with God if you expect to receive God’s blessing of deliverance. Any sin that is not confessed or repented of gives the evil spirits a “legal right” to stay.

2. Humility

You have to recognize that you are dependent upon God and His provisions and mercy for deliverance.

3. Repentance

Repentance is a determined turning away from all sin and works of the devil. You must hate all evil in your life and fall out of agreement with it. Deliverance is not to be used merely to gain relief from problems but in order to become more conformed into the likeness of Jesus through by submitting to God’s will. Repentance requires open confession of all sin.

4. Renunciation

Renunciation is the forsaking of all evil. Renunciation is action resulting from repentance. For example, if you repent of lust you should destroy or delete all of your pornography.

5. Forgiveness

God freely and readily forgives all who confess their sins and ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9). He expects us to forgive all others who have done wrong to us in any way (Matt. 6:14-15). In my observation, demons won’t leave the person being prayed for if the person is reluctant to forgive others.

6. Prayer

Ask God to deliver you and set you free in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. The scriptures read “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32).

7. Warfare

Prayer and warfare are two separate and distinct activities. Prayer is toward God and warfare is toward the enemy. Identify the spirits, address them directly by name in a commanding voice, and in faith command them to go in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Have a battle-like mindset with determination and assurance of victory. Remember Jesus gives us the power to tread on serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).

Here’s a lil music to help you get started – it helps me!

What Can Stop #PoliceBrutality & End #Racism?

The Temple

There are 5 temples mentioned in the bible – 1. The Garden 2. The Tabernacle 3. Solomon’s Temple, The “First” Temple 4. Herod’s Temple, The “Second” Temple 5. The Church. It is written – Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. It is worth mentioning that in the New Testament, no synagogue, temple, chapel, tabernacle, building, or any other meeting place was ever called a “church.” The term always referred to the Christian assembly and, in the New Testament, it was used for both the local community of believers and the overall collection of Christians.

The Origin in America

The first Africans in the New World arrived with Spanish and Portuguese explorers and settlers. By 1600 an estimated 275,000 Africans, both free and slave, were in Central and South America and the Caribbean area. Africans first arrived in the area that became the United States in 1619, when a handful of captives were sold by the captain of a Dutch man-of-war to settlers at Jamestown. Others were brought in increasing numbers to fill the desire for labor in a country where land was plentiful and labor scarce. By the end of the 17th century, approximately 1,300,000 Africans had landed in the New World. From 1701 to 1810 the number reached 6,000,000, with another 1,800,000 arriving after 1810. Some Africans were brought directly to the English colonies in North America. Others landed as slaves in the West Indies and were later resold and shipped to the mainland.


Slavery in America

The earliest African arrivals were viewed in the same way as indentured servants from Europe. This similarity did not long continue. By the latter half of the 17th century, clear differences existed in the treatment of black and white servants. A 1662 Virginia law assumed Africans would remain servants for life, and a 1667 act declared that “Baptisme doth not alter the condition of the person as to his bondage or freedom.” By 1740 the slavery system in colonial America was fully developed. A Virginia law in that year declared slaves to be “chattel personal in the hands of their owners and possessors for all intents, construction, and purpose whatsoever.”

Slaves Revolt

The first recorded slave revolt in the United States happened in Gloucester, Virginia, in 1663, an event involving white indentured servants as well as black slaves.

In 1672, there were reports of fugitive slaves forming groups to harass plantation owners. The first recorded all-black slave revolt occurred in Virginia in 1687.

Virginia was the host of several thwarted uprisings, including one in Richmond in 1800 and Spotsylvania County in 1815, but the state was also the scene of the most notorious slave rebellion in American history: Nat Turner’s Revolt.

Civil Rights

The civil rights movement was an organized effort by black Americans to end racial discrimination and gain equal rights under the law. It began in the late 1940s and ended in the late 1960s. Although tumultuous at times, the movement was mostly nonviolent and resulted in laws to protect every American’s constitutional rights, regardless of color, race, sex or national origin.

In general, the federal government stayed out of the civil rights struggle until 1964, when President Johnson pushed a Civil Rights Act through Congress that prohibited discrimination in public places, gave the Justice Department permission to sue states that discriminated against women and minorities and promised equal opportunities in the workplace to all. The next year, the Voting Rights Act eliminated poll taxes, literacy requirements and other tools that southern whites had traditionally used to keep blacks from voting.

But these laws did not solve the problems facing African Americans: They did not eliminate racism or poverty and they did not improve the conditions in many black urban neighborhoods. Many black leaders began to rethink their goals, and some embraced a more militant ideology of separatism and self-defense.

Civil Rights History Time Line

July 26, 1948: President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981 to end segregation in the Armed Services.

May 17, 1954: Brown v. Board of Education, a consolidation of five cases into one, is decided by the Supreme Court, effectively ending racial segregation in public schools. Many schools, however, remained segregated.

August 28, 1955: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago is brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman. His murderers are acquitted, and the case bring international attention to the civil rights movement after Jet magazine publishes a photo of Till’s beaten body at his open-casket funeral.

December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her defiant stance prompts a year-long Montgomery bus boycott.

January 10-11, 1957: Sixty black pastors and civil rights leaders from several southern states—including Martin Luther King, Jr.—meet in Atlanta, Georgia to coordinate nonviolent protests against racial discrimination and segregation.

September 4, 1957: Nine black students known as the “Little Rock Nine” are blocked from integrating into Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. President Dwight D. Eisenhower eventually sends federal troops to escort the students, however, they continue to be harassed.

September 9, 1957: Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law to help protect voter rights. The law allows federal prosecution of those who suppress another’s right to vote.

February 1, 1960: Four African American college students in Greensboro, North Carolina refuse to leave a Woolworth’s “whites only” lunch counter without being served. The Greensboro Four—Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil—were inspired by the nonviolent protest of Gandhi. The Greensboro Sit-In, as it came to be called, sparks similar “sit-ins” throughout the city and in other states.

November 14, 1960: Six-year-old Ruby Bridges is escorted by four armed federal marshals as she becomes the first student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Her actions inspired Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With (1964).

1961: Throughout 1961, black and white activists, known as freedom riders, took bus trips through the American South to protest segregated bus terminals and attempted to use “whites-only” restrooms and lunch counters. The Freedom Rides were marked by horrific violence from white protestors, they drew international attention to their cause.

June 11, 1963: Governor George C. Wallace stands in a doorway at the University of Alabama to block two black students from registering. The standoff continues until President John F. Kennedy sends the National Guard to the campus.

August 28, 1963: Approximately 250,000 people take part in The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Martin Luther King gives his “I Have A Dream” speech as the closing address in front of the Lincoln Memorial, stating, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

September 15, 1963: A bomb at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama kills four young girls and injures several other people prior to Sunday services. The bombing fuels angry protests.

July 2, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, preventing employment discrimination due to race, color, sex, religion or national origin. Title VII of the Act establishes the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to help prevent workplace discrimination.

February 21, 1965: Black religious leader Malcolm X is assassinated during a rally by members of the Nation of Islam.

March 7, 1965: Bloody Sunday. In the Selma to Montgomery March, around 600 civil rights marchers walk to Selma, Alabama to Montgomery—the state’s capital—in protest of black voter suppression. Local police block and brutally attack them. After successfully fighting in court for their right to march, Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders lead two more marches and finally reach Montgomery on March 25.

August 6, 1965: President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to prevent the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement. It also allowed federal examiners to review voter qualifications and federal observers to monitor polling places.

April 4, 1968:Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray is convicted of the murder in 1969.

April 11, 1968: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, providing equal housing opportunity regardless of race, religion or national origin.

June 2020: The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is a civil rights and police reform bill drafted by Democrats in the United States Congress, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 8, 2020. The legislation aims to combat police misconduct, excessive force, and racial bias in policing.

So we started as slaves, we were freed, we couldn’t vote so we marched, and we marched and we boycotted and we marched. Black men women and children have been brutally murdered in the streets of the US since forever and it wasn’t until #GeorgeFloyd that we began marching and protesting again. So if at first you don’t succeed try, try again… When will marching and protested end racism – it won’t! So what is the answer – this writer tends to think that it will take everyone learning how the Hand of God works.

Recent racially charged incidents including the tragic death of George Floyd have stirred ensuing riots and torn open the rawest of wounds – racism. Judging a person according to skin color is an ancient sin. For that reason, God gave this ancient solution.

In the earliest words of Scripture, God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth” (Genesis 1:26). Let us, who is “us” – If you search the Bible you will find that when the Almighty speaks of “us” or “our,” He is addressing His Power not the angles otherwise we would have wings.

How then can we stop police brutality and end racism when each of us understands who we are in relationship to God and the power we have within…

 

References:

History.com Editors. (2009, November 12). Slave rebellions. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery-iv-slave-rebellions

Search results. (n.d.). Scholastic | Books for Kids | Parent & Teacher Resources‎. https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/search-results/?search=1&prefilter=&filters=teachers_ss_dp:articles-and-collections%7C*&text=black%20history#lessons-plans

History.com Editors. (2009, November 9). Martin Luther King, Jr. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/martin-luther-king-jr

‘Teacher’s Manual’ by American educator Thomas H. Palmer and ‘The Children of the New Forest‘ by English novelist Frederick Maryat (1792-1848).

(“Max Lucado: What is the answer to racism? This profound yet simple promise,” 2020)