The Intersection of Religion and Politics: How Christian Nationalism is Influencing Government

What is Christian Nationalism?

Christian Nationalism has become an increasingly prevalent force in American politics as of late, especially with the election of Donald Trump and his heavily religious cabinet. Although this trend isn’t anything new, Trump’s election seems to have sparked a new fire in Christian Nationalists, who believe that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and shouldn’t be influenced by other religions or non-religious ideologies. While some feel that this kind of religious influence on government is valuable, others see it as antithetical to the core values of the United States and dangerous in its potential to violate the separation of church and state.

Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks for the entire GOP – they need to represent their voters – certain people – most of the people that vote for them and certain people – who are certain people?

Christian nationalism is the belief that Christianity should be the guiding force in American society and politics. This movement has been gaining ground in recent years, with support coming from both the Republican Party and some Democrats. The Founding Fathers were mostly Christians, and many of their ideals were based on Biblical principles. While the separation of church and state is an important part of American democracy, some people believe that Christianity should have a more prominent role in government. Christian nationalists often support policies that reflect their values, such as restrictions on abortion and LGBTQ rights. They also tend to oppose immigration, particularly from Muslim countries. Some critics argue that Christian nationalism is a form of bigotry, as it relies on stereotyping and fear-mongering to gain support. According to a recent study, about one-third of Americans believe in Christian nationalism – that is, the belief that Christianity should have a more central role in American life and politics.

What is Nationalism?

There are many definitions of nationalism and a functioning discussion about how best to characterize it, however, there are several recurring themes. Most scholars agree that nationalism starts with the belief that humanity is divisible into mutually distinct, internally coherent cultural groups defined by shared traits like language, religion, ethnicity, or culture. From there, scholars say, nationalists believe that these groups should each have their own governments; that governments should promote and protect a nation’s cultural identity; and that sovereign national groups provide meaning and purpose for human beings. Scholars point out that nationalism can lead to xenophobia, which is the intense dislike or prejudice against foreigners. Xenophobia can take various forms including violence and genocide. One scholar argues that Christian nationalists are not racist because they believe in multiculturalism within a dominant Anglo-Protestant culture.

The Difference Between Christian Nationalism and Protestantism

Protestantism is the largest sect of Christianity, and its name comes from the protests against certain Catholic doctrines in the 16th century. At its core, Protestantism is based on individual interpretations of scripture, which can lead to different beliefs even within the same denomination. Christian nationalism, on the other hand, is a political movement that puts Christians at the center of public life and supports policies that reflect biblical values. While Protestantism is a religious belief system, Christian nationalism is more of a political ideology.

What are the Effects of Christian Nationalism?

There are a variety of ways that Christian nationalism manifests itself in government. One way is through the religious affiliation of elected officials. Another way is through policies that give preferential treatment to Christianity or Christianity-based organizations.

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Separation of Church and State

One of the Founding Principles of the United States is the separation of Church and State. This means that there should be a clear delineation between religious institutions and government. Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a growing trend of Christian Nationalism in our country. This is the belief that Christianity should have a privileged place in our society and that our government should be based on Christian principles. This way of thinking is dangerous because it goes against the very principle on which our country was founded.

Although the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the First Amendment, the establishment clause was intended to separate church from state. When the First Amendment was adopted in 1791, the establishment clause applied only to the federal government, prohibiting the federal government from any involvement in religion. By 1833, all states had disestablished religion from government, providing protections for religious liberty in state constitutions. In the 20th century, the U.S. Supreme Court applied the establishment clause to the states through the 14th Amendment. Today, the establishment clause prohibits all levels of government from either advancing or inhibiting religion.

The establishment clause separates church from state, but not religion from politics or public life. Individual citizens are free to bring their religious convictions into the public arena. But the government is prohibited from favoring one religious view over another or even favoring religion over non-religion.

Our nation’s founders disagreed about the exact meaning of “no establishment” under the First Amendment; the argument continues to this day. But there was and is widespread agreement that preventing the government from interfering with religion is an essential principle of religious liberty. All of the Framers understood that “no establishment” meant no national church and no government involvement in religion. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed that without separating church from state, there could be no real religious freedom.

The first use of the “wall of separation” metaphor was by Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island in 1635. He said an authentic Christian church would be possible only if there was “a wall or hedge of separation” between the “wilderness of the world” and “the garden of the church.” Any government involvement in the church, he believed, corrupts the church.

Then in 1802, Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, wrote: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

The Supreme Court has cited Jefferson’s letter in key cases, beginning with a polygamy case in the 19th century. In the 1947 case Everson v. Board of Education, the Court cited a direct link between Jefferson’s “wall of separation” concept and the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

Where Does Freedom Fit Into This?

When it comes to the relationship between religion and politics, the line between personal beliefs and public policy can often be blurred. This is especially true for Christians who may feel called to infuse their faith into every aspect of their lives—including their voting decisions.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Source: Christianity Today, #TheYoungTurks, TikTok Washington Post

Washing Clothes – Listening For God

I often hear folk ask, how do you know when God has answered your prayers, how do you know when God is talking to you? I think it’s different for everyone, I think He speaks to us in a manner/language that we can hear and most importantly in a language that we understand. I just wanted to share one moment in time when I thought He wasn’t listening…

1. Separate the loads, white, colored, and dark.

2. Put the load in the washer machine:

3. Add laundry detergent – (bleach if it is a white load and one other secret ingredient to make them super white) [Don’t add all the crazy stuff like febreeze/Downey pieces – those are just a marketing trick] – my mother NEVER used that {make your clothes smell good crap} dammit you’re washing them – that should make them smell clean and if it doesn’t change your laundry detergent) – moving right along.

4. Close the lid or door and WALK AWAY…

NOTE: If you have washed enough loads that little tiny voice will let you know when they are done! We never check to see if they are done – do we – NO WE KNOW WHEN THE CYCLE IS COMPLETE!

Note: If you don’t have that little tiny voice – you will know they are done when the machine stops!!

That’s how prayer works, give it to Him and He will let you know when it’s done. Don’t keep asking Him or adding other ingredients like checking with ALL YOUR FRIENDS – WATCHING 11 HUNDRED different pastors on TicTok and YouTube – just be still and wait – He will most assuredly let you know when the dirt you brought to Him has been cleaned….


God Box

What is a God Box you ask, that’s a good question. Like prayer is just a conversation with God a God Box is just a (real box) in which you put your request to God in. Get a box with a lid and in the box, you put your requests.

In my box which was average size (years ago) I wrote, I wanted a husband, a relationship with my daughter, a home with a garage, and a few other things. Low and behold a few years later (I had even noticed) that I had a husband, a relationship with my daughter and a Condo with a GARAGE!!!!!

Why the emphasis on the garage because He heard the smallest detail and provided it. Yes, I hear you asking/saying, “you could have just prayed”, well you are right – however with requests that magnanimous as a human, I would be fretting every day about when it was going to come to pass.

So how it works is like doing your laundry – when you put the dirty clothes in the washer machine you add your detergent close the lid or the door (for all you fancy folk) and walk away. I don’t know about you, but I trust the machine will do exactly what it is designed to do – wash my clothes. I don’t go back and check that’s it’s spinning, I don’t go back and check to see if the detergent is correct, I don’t keep checking on it during the cycle to see that it working – I TRUST THAT THE MACHINE is doing exactly what it is designed to do. So when I put my request in the box, I leave it there until all the cycles are complete…

Russia & World Peace

I see a lot of posts about folk wanting world peace and praying for Ukraine. I’m most definitely NOT against praying but I’m also acutely aware that we WILL NEVER see world peace. We’ve NEVER seen it in the past and will not see it in the future according to my worldview and KJV.

So if that’s the case MsConcerned what should we do, you ask? That’s a good question, we should – from our own homes, restore relationships, be kind to our neighbors and find out what our true primary purpose is. We should first learn about the one and only true God, develop a relationship with Him, trust Him and love Him.

That’s all I have to say about that for now….

When #Sorry Isn’t Enough

What is sorry – feeling distress, especially through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune; or feeling regret or penitence;

What is penitence – the action of feeling or showing sorrow and regret for having done wrong; repentance.

Can one simply say, “I’m sorry” when they have caused someone harm;

Can one simply say, “I’m sorry” when they cause someone harm over and over and over again;

Can one simply say, “I’m sorry” when the harm caused is irreparable;

Can one simply say, “I’m sorry” when the recipient is unwilling to accept;

Can one simply say, “I’m sorry” and keep operating in a behavior that is harmful;

The Bible says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Apologizing is a way of recognizing our sins. It has a way of clearing the air between people and between you and God. When people apologize, they look for forgiveness for their sins. Sometimes, it means apologizing to God for the ways we have wronged Him.

Is there a difference between saying I’m sorry or apologizing – Saying sorry simply expresses your personal feelings about something. Apologizing implies that you are accepting the responsibility of the fault or mistake as well as expressing your regret about it. This is the main difference between sorry and apology.

When saying “sorry” didn’t work, I had to ask myself, “Lord, what is it You want me to do, what do You expect of me, what am I supposed to learn here. It was then that I received a call and the caller said to me something about Jesus saying He would create division between mother and daughter. I thought to myself, wow, I never read that or should I say that I read it but never paid any attention to it – until I found myself in a position where there was strife between me, my daughter and my mother and simply saying, “sorry” just didn’t seem like it was enough…

Not Peace but Division

Jesus said, 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Jesus would stress the cost of discipleship with these words:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)[2]
Jesus is not teaching emotional hatred for family members, but making it very clear that all relationships must be secondary to following him. Even parents, even a wife or husband, even children, even brothers or sisters, none of these could be first in their lives . Every loyalty and every love – even of a disciple’s own life – must be less than love for him. “Whoever does not carry their cross” – whoever will not die to every other loyalty – “cannot be my disciple.”

…above all else Christ must come first, a hard pill to swallow but a necessary medicine nonetheless…

Empowerment

EMPOWERMENT

What does empowerment mean?

Have you ever thought about the real meaning of empowerment? What does it really truly mean to be empowered? The dictionary says it is the “authority or power given to someone to do something,” or “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.”

Empowerment is simple

Empowerment is simple. You can learn to advocate for yourself, to reach inside your soul and find your inner strength. It is there, you just have to find it and let it show its face. You can empower others by lifting them up instead of putting them down. Put downs do nothing they are a way to self-elevate oneself. They cause harm and achieve absolutely nothing. Wouldn’t you rather give people compliments, encourage them when they are down, and point out the good instead of the bad so that they too can be empowered to go after their dreams.

The Holy Spirit’s empowering of you happened when you put your faith in Christ.

The Bible says, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:10-11). I like that about the Holy Spirit. He goes where I cannot. He comprehends things I cannot. He does things I cannot. But when it comes to the things I need to do, He equips me to do them.

When I’m lost, when I’m sad, when I’m angry, jealous, full of pride and ego, arrogant, confused, I can call on the Holy Spirit to guide me AND MY WORDS during difficult situations.

The Holy Spirit is my strongest guide to empowerment not my job, not my parents, not my daughter, not my blog, definitely not by social media.

#Zoey 2021 – 2021

She would have been a year old tomorrow…

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 and I’ve had some pretty awesome moments with my daughter. I remember picking put her name long before I ever wanted children.

But this story is really about the pain I’ve endured at the loss of granddaughter after my daughter delivered a still born baby. The things I would have told her, shared with her, taught her, let her get away with.

I love you Zoey – good night my love… happy first birthday

#Stubborness

Relationships can take any form. From romantic relationships, marriages to friends or close families that have just drifted apart over time or due to specific problems. The Lord helps us cure all wounds if we follow the lead of Jesus. One of the things I have found that ruins all kinds of relationships is STUBBORNESS. Especially when you are the one who has been wronged. It is so easy and normal to hold on to our grudges, to feel right and vindicated in our refusal to forgive, but this feeling is not Godly.

I know how difficult it is to forgive. I know how much time can be wasted holding on to pain that someone did to us in the past, but if this past year–of coronavirus has taught me anything, it is that, I don’t want to waste any more time. Unforgiveness sucks the life and the joy out of you. While you may feel like you are justified in holding unto your pain, you are only hurting yourself. Think about all the times you fall short of what you KNOW, God is telling you to do, and yet, God keeps on forgiving you.

The disciples ask Jesus, “master how many times shall we forgive, is it 7 times?” to which Jesus responds, “not 7 but 70 x 7” (Matthew 18:21). There is no limit to forgiveness. Relationships are not just about husbands and wives, someone is praying for their children right now; perhaps the relationship that needs healing is the one with your sibling. I know people who haven’t spoken to their brother and sisters in over 15 years! God is calling you to heal and reconcile.

I have fallen into the spirit of stubbornness, I’ve been running around ranting about all I did for a family member, and how dare he not be grateful – his gratefulness should not be measured by me and in inability to show gratefulness should not be judge by me. I surrender today!

Tuesday Motivation

A bell is not a bell
till you ring it,
A song is not a song
till you sing it,
Love in your heart
is not put there to stay,
Love is not love
till you give it away.

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.

Shelter In the Rain

Hey folks as we celebrate this glorious day, I must admit as I reflect on the year 2020 I’m feeling some pain… but I know where my strengths come from and one of those outlets is music… Allow me to share how to get comfort when you’re in the rain of life’s trials and tribulations…

When the lights are down
And the stage is bare
And no more magic’s in the air
There’s not a friend in sight to care
Your tears no one will share
I’ll be your comfort through your pain
I’ll be your shelter in the rain

When your sad is bad and your bad is worst
And there’s no who to turn to first
When you’ve done everything you can
No one’s there to take your hand
I’ll be you comfort through your pain
I’ll be your shelter in the rain

When you’ve looked around
And haven’t seen me anywhere
Though when you were down
I lifted you up from there
There isn’t a thing you can ask of me
I won’t do
Just you put your trust in me
My love will see you through

When the final candle’s flickered out
“Why me” is all you can think about
When all your joy has disappeared
Your future isn’t clear
I’ll be you comfort through your pain
I’ll be your shelter in the rain

When all the odds say there’s no chance
Amidst the final dance
I’ll be you comfort through your pain
I’ll be your shelter in the rain
I’ll be you comfort through your pain
Yes, I’ll be your shelter in the rain, rain
I’ll be your shelter,
Be your shelter, be your shelter in the rain

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

 

When It Seems All Around You is #Shaking

That’s unshakable, and when all our earthly foundations are crumbling, we have to hold on tight to the certainty that God is still sovereign, He is still in control, and He is trustworthy. Hebrews 12 gives us further good advice, as we see everything around us shaking and uncertain.

In Psalm 11:3 David asked the question: When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? Do you feel as though your foundations are being destroyed? Perhaps relationships you had counted on have fallen apart. Maybe your family foundations are beginning to shake. What can we do when our foundations are shaking?

The earthquakes which happen all around the world remind us that the earth beneath our feet is not reliable, our economy is like a roller-coaster, ethics and morality which were basic to our national heritage are quickly disappearing, and personal relationships seem to be under heavy attack.

It should not surprise us to discover that all created things are shakable. That piece of land you own, the house in which you live, the job you go to each day, your money in the bank, your investments in the stock market, that relationship which means so much to you–all of those created things are shakable.

Hebrews 12:28 – 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

#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!

#SelfCare

We often do so much for others that taking care of ourselves individually goes untouched.  I’m not talking about getting our nails and hair done – those are things we do to keep our masks shining.  The concept of self-care is deceptively simple: making time to take of yourself for the benefit of your overall mental and physical well-being.  But if you’re human who exists in this world – the real world, where burnout, depression, anxiety, pain, illness, trauma, oppression, shitty families, violence, tragedy, breakups, divorces, death, unemployment, addiction, and good old fashioned bad times exist – you know that “taking care of yourself” is never a simple thing.

There is no denying that alcohol and other mind-altering substances give the user some type of pleasant sensation. Even if the “high” does not constitute a state of euphoria, it is at least a respite from unpleasant sensations of anxiety, tension, and depression, and awkward self-consciousness. The use of such chemicals is nothing other than the pursuit of contentment.

There’s a frustrating misconception that anything that is not 100 percent selfless is selfish. But taking care of ourselves and caring for and considering others are not mutually exclusive. In fact, taking care of our own health and well-being empowers us to be better friends, partners, coworkers, bosses, family members, and humans. Without doing the essential work of showing up for ourselves, how can we expect to be in any shape to show up for others? As the old saying goes, you have to put your oxygen mask on before you can assist anyone else.

One of the most common criticisms of self-care is that it’s unfair and unrealistic to put all this pressure on yourself to be in charge of your own well-being. And that’s absolutely true—there’s nothing more annoying than the old adage that you can “choose happiness,” as if you’ve always had the power to zap away your misery and have just been squandering it. None of us has the capacity to soothe all that ails us on our own. Self-care is as much about opening yourself up to the many ways others can help you as it is about taking care of yourself. It’s educating yourself on resources, giving yourself permission to access professional help without shame, and asking for what you need.

We have options we can attend self-care groups or twelve-step groups, we can try therapy and we can stay stuck.  One thing I’ve found out is that I must stay centered with God in my life before I attempt any outside intervention.

 

1, Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:26-30 MSG

 

2. When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: “Enough of this, GOD! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!” Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.

#Yoga Virtually

What is yoga – Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six Āstika (orthodox) schools of Hindu philosophical traditions.

There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The term “Yoga” in the Western world often denotes a modern form of hatha yoga and yoga as exercise, consisting largely of the postures or asanas

Goal of Yoga – The Goal of Yoga. The main goal of Yoga is to clean the mind and calm the mind. “Yogaha Chitta Vritti Nirodaha,” Raja Yoga says.  When done regularly, the physical practice of yoga can help reduce stress and boost concentration, overall health and a sense of well-being.  Yoga encourages one to go deeper into their being and find the inner place that is beyond temporary anchors.

Breathing –  Breathing is obviously an important part of every day, whether you’re doing yoga or not. Though we don’t typically focus on our breath during the day, in a yoga class, breathing is just as important as the poses and serves a greater purpose. Each inhale and exhale can energize, calm, and help you form a deeper mind-body connection.

Pranayama, which literally means “to extend the vital life force,” or prana, is an incredibly rich practice made up of many breathing techniques that vary in complexity from ones simple enough for a child to do to those appropriate only for advanced practitioners. While the best way to practice pranayama is under the guidance of an experienced teacher, there are simple techniques—such as gentle diaphragmatic breathing and comfortably lengthening the exhalation—that can be used at any time to transform not only your breath but also your state of mind.

Benefits of Yoga – As for the benefits of yoga, there is evidence that practicing yoga can help you increase your flexibility, strength, and stamina. Hatha is the type usually studied, but there’s no reason to believe that you won’t gain these benefits from other types as well.  For women – Several studies have proved that the lifespan of women doing yoga is more when compared to non-practitioners. Yoga can be classified as the body and mind cleanser. It cleanses the body and allows us to lead a happy life. Practicing several yoga poses before, during and after pregnancy helps to keep the mother and child strong. Mainly, yoga practice before and during the pregnancy helps women to have painless labor. For PTSD survivors – A growing body of research suggests yoga does provide mental health benefits, from alleviating depression to PTSD. Yoga has been studied as an effective treatment for some types of depression. A series of studies from the Netherlands found yoga provided some benefit for people with chronic depression.

Why I Dislike Yoga – First let me say I do find some relief with the breathing exercises nonetheless I’m not a big fan of slow methodical movements.  Perhaps because when I think of movement I expect to feel an immediate change in my physical awareness much like working out – we seat, we feel “in-shape” we/I feel like I have done something that will produce changes if I keep at it. Perfoming Yoga virtually has little or no benefit for me at all. Yet with Yoga, I feel like I’m slowly walking a beach with little or no effect physically.  I guess that and in of itself is the positive side of Yoga.  Yet I still dislike it…

What are your thoughts?

 

 

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)

#Gossip

Spreading gossip feeds a dark hunger in us.  Sometimes we think the only way we can feel good about ourselves is to make someone else look bad by comparison.  But the kind of self-esteem that can be purchased at another’s expense is hollow and not worth the price.

Great Awakening

Have we had enough yet….

I don’t know the anger from Strange Fruit to the death of Martin one would think we would have had enough and joined forces. But I think we have gotten very comfortable with no longer sitting in the back of the bus – we have Uber eats, we got comfortable going to Denny’s after being spat on in Woolworth’s, we got comfortable going to Harvard after the police had to escort Black children to school, we got comfortable when the Black man sat in the Oval Office for 8 years, and oh yes I’m gonna say it, we got comfortable with drive by pastors and televised church with a seat on the front pew and the Holy Spirit NO WHERE IN SIGHT. I don’t know what/if the GREAT AWAKENING is ever going to happen. Guess we’ll see when two men are walking side by side and one disappears .

#Moment to Lift Your Spirit – 5

Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.

Grace and Mercy

Glad to be back on the Bus

Hello folks, I’m back!!!! I lost access to my site because I switched from an anroid phone to iPhone and the number was changed; additionally I forgot to store the backup codes.  Wow the security measures WordPress has installed, anywho I’m glad to be back, are you –  let me know!!!

The #Bus as I listened to a song about #grace and #mercy I saw a #homeless man sleeping in the cold… pray without ceasing.

 

The #Playground & #Redemption

The gate was closed

I went in the playground to have some fun with friends and sometimes I went alone;

I met some new friends and saw some old ones;

I got on some of the rides, they seemed to be so much fun;

Then the clouds rolled in and I was blinded;

I slid off the slide and fell;

I was thrown midair from the swings;

I got dizzy on the whirl-around and lost my balance;

I was drowning in a sand-box that was only 1 feet high;

The horse went crazy on the rocking horse – I was jolted to the otherside of the playground;

I tried to run out but the gate was closed;

Have you ever been saved by Grace and backslid?  It’s like going into Satan’s playground full of fun and amazing things until they break and/or they break you?

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

I was lost, but now I’m found…

#Spring #Cleaning

When it comes to organizing your home, Spring is not the only time of year  when you should declutter your home – in fact, if you want to keep your property tidied and clean, you should put things in order daily.

But who has the time and motivation to organize their home every single day? Unless you are a  clean or neat-freak, you won’t find it necessary to straighten out your property on a daily basis. Nevertheless, to declutter is important – if not on a daily basis, then at least on a weekly basis. Because clutter is not only ugly – it can seriously damage your health, too – both your physical and mental and spiritual health.

If you live in cluttered placed, you’ll may be less motivated, you may have higher anxiety levels and you may become easily irritated. That’s not all – clutter can even lead to depression and of course, bacteria and germs love clutter and dirt –that’s why those who live in dirty places are 10 times more likely to become ill  than those who live in clean homes.

Now that you know cleaning is mandatory, and decluttering is really important, let’s set some rules. In essence, to declutter means to get rid of the things you no longer find useful. You can do that in two ways – either you can reuse the things you no longer find useful and turn them into something useful, or you can simply throw those stuff away – or donate them.

What can you reuse?

You don’t need to throw away everything you no longer need. A lot of your stuff can be reused, or they can be turned into irreplaceable possessions once again.  You can reuse any glass object – any jar you don’t use can be turned into an adorable candle holder, or you can store your dry goods or your construction tools in these reusable glass jars.

You can also reuse your old clothes. Throwing away a stained blouse is not your only option – in fact, you can use your old/ripped/stained shirts to make a new shirt artfully add more stains. Your old towels can be recycled, too – you can turn your old towels into handy washcloths.

And that’s not all – you can also recycle your broken china and turn it into art.  Try gluing pieces of a broken plate to your  flowerpots and make them stand out, or you can add them as an ornament to a coffee table and even make a chandelier from your broken glasses.   So, go ahead break a few plates and glasses and turn them into beautiful items your home needs.

What about items you can’t see or touch?

There’s another aspect of house-cleaning that involves the removal of things that will make you sick and your home smell something awful.  These items show up not through your window or from old garbage in the bin, but through our behavior and sometimes those we come in contact with.  You will know you have been contaminated because you will be angry all the time, never feel satisfied, need human validation all the time, sometimes your voice will  sound like light funny sarcasm – but it will most assuredly sting the hearer.  You’ll know  your home has been invaded because there will be an unidentifiable odor of stench that bleach, and vinegar won’t be able to clear or mask.  Even bugs yes bugs, may appear out of the blue for no reason.  If you have observed some of the signs and symptoms know this – this dirt stems from sin.  Are you involved with drugs or  over indulgence in alcohol, are involved with someone’s husband or wife, are you engaging in sex with multiple partners, do you spend more time on social media than reading positive messages that are healing to you and your family, maybe you pretend you’re ok as you imitate other happy folk, do you now detest your best friend for no real reason?  Don’t be fooled either thinking attending church once a week will do it or praying when you find yourself backed up against the wall or when things go wrong, this kind of cleaning requires us to really understand that we have  no control – we must surrender all our ugly ways to God, our unforgiveness, our standoff-ness, our unwillingness to let things go, our inability to believe that our carnal way of dealing with a situation is  better than your way, my pastor is the greatest thing since sliced bread, stop believing that since we know everything about the Word we can now fix you.  Are you self-centered and unforgiving, perhaps you forgive and then say to yourself, “…but I won’t forget…”  If so, then there may be a lil’ sin in your life and if you are like me and countless others, you may find that Spring cleaning in this area is not something we can get away with once a year or once a month, but this housecleaning must occur daily.

 

Let the declutter begin.

 

 

 

#KennethFoster #Deathrow #Inmate – A Story of #Redemption

Death Row and Redemption – Kenneth Foster Jr

One night in August of 1996, four black men were arrested in connection to the shooting of Michael Lahood Jr., a white 26-year-old San Antonio law student. They were also found guilty of two robberies that took place hours before the event that changed many lives forever.

Read more

 

 

 

#MorningMeditationForYourSoul

I decided to unplug for a day of rest and feed myself with positive and uplifting messages

Losing my sanity

Good morning folks, apparently I got quite a bit side-tracked from my #journeytofreedom and let the cares of this world deter me from my purpose.

I got caught up in Trumpism, the Mueller Investigation, Lies, Russia, Racism, Police Brutality Against Black Folk, Injustices in the Government, Rand, Giuliani, Pirro and yes even #FakeNews.  I was researching other stories that would show every supporter in a negative light (hmmm who was I following for – surely not God]  I got physically tired and overwhelmed with responding verbally to every #Tweet and #FacebookPost…. until I had a [moment of clarity] and realized I was fighting a #battle that was not mine – if I believe in the messages from God in that #Book.

 

I decided to unplug for a day of rest and feed myself with positive and uplifting messages – soon, the clarity returned.  So I’m here to testify that it only takes one day in some situations for God to move and turn-it-around!! I’m determined more than ever to stay on track.

How did you get off track and how did you return to #sanity?

 

The Firing of #Chaplain Reverend Patrick J. #Conroy

“I’m looking for somebody who has a little age, that has adult children, that kind of can connect with the bulk of the body here, Republicans and Democrats who are going through, back home the wife, the family

Chaplain – Who is a Chaplain of the United States Senate – According to Wikipedia –  The Chaplain of the United States Senate opens each session of the United States Senate with a prayer, and provides and coordinates religious programs and pastoral care support for Senators, their staffs, and their families. The Chaplain is appointed by a majority vote of the members of the Senate on a resolution nominating an individual for the position. The three most recent nominations have been submitted based on a bipartisan search committee although that procedure is not required.

Chaplains are elected as individuals and not as representatives of any religious community, body, or organization. As of 2017, all Senate Chaplains have belonged to various denominations of Christianity, though there are no restrictions against members of any religion or faith group. Guest Chaplains, recommended by Senators to deliver the session’s opening prayer in place of the Senate Chaplain, have represented “all the world’s major religious faiths.”   The current House Chaplain is Fr. Patrick J. Conroy, S.J., the first Jesuit priest to hold the position.   Conroy was sworn in May 25, 2011.   Conroy was asked to resign by House Speaker Paul Ryan, with an effective resignation date of May 24, 2018 becoming the first House chaplain removed in the history of Congress.

The Chaplain also provides pastoral care for members of Congress, their staffs, and their families, and provides or oversees religious programs such as Bible study, reflection groups, and the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast.   The Chaplain also often presides over religious ceremonies such as funerals and memorial services for current or past members and participates, offering delivering the invocation or benediction, at many official U.S. ceremonies, including White House events.    In a January 2011 post on “On Watch in Washington”, the Chaplain of the Senate as well as the Chaplain of the House were included as part of “Obama’s Spiritual Cabinet”.

Minister – A personal attendant and helper, not a menial; a public functionary in the service of the state or of God, one engaged in the service of others – who were ministers in the Bible – Christ (as high priest in heavenly sanctuary) Joseph, Abishag, Joshua, Elisha, the attendant of the synagogue, the disciples, Paul.

The Story

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s abrupt decision to dismiss the House chaplain Rev. Patrick J. Conroy much like stabbing him in the back,  triggered an uproar on Friday under the guise of religion, pitting Republican against Republican and offering Democrats a political opportunity in a year already moving their way.

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C) – said on Thursday –

“I’m looking for somebody who has a little age, that has adult children, that kind of can connect with the bulk of the body here, Republicans and Democrats who are going through, back home the wife, the family … that has some counseling experience … because what’s needed in the body here is people who can sit down with different members, male, female, Democrat, Republican, and just talk about what it is kind of to be up here,” Walker, a Southern Baptist minister and chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told reporters Thursday.

“Padre, you just got to stay out of politics,” he recalled the speaker saying

Comment:  What does the Bible say about politics? –

At the House Republican meeting, Mr. Ryan told lawmakers that complaints about Father Conroy’s pastoral care — not politics or prayer — led to his decision, according to several who attended. The speaker’s spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said simply that he had “made the decision he believes to be in the best interest of the House.”

Comment:  Shouldn’t one with “pastoral” training, education, most importantly he who has a relationship with the Lord be able to (if) guided by the Holy Spirit make a decision as to whether a Chaplain is “not” following the Holy Spirit in his prayers and/or decision-making?

The controversy exposed long-simmering tensions between Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians over who should be lawmakers’ religious counselor.

Comment: Who are the two groups and what is the history between Roman Catholics and Evangelical Christians?

And a public clash between Southern Evangelical Republicans and Northern Catholics could play to the advantage of Democrats, who are pressing hard to bring working-class Catholic regions in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin back into the Democratic fold.

Comment:  What is the difference between Evangelical and Catholics – The Catholic faith has a distinctly traditional church-centered history. The Evangelical faith is based on Protestant theology, and members of the different Evangelical movements have a variety of options in how they worship God. These lead to differences in traditions, practices and views of salvation.  Both Catholics and Evangelicals accept God as their primary authority. For Catholics, the church is the primary extension of God’s authority because Jesus founded the Christian church through St. Peter. For Catholics, the Bible supports what the church teaches. For Evangelicals, the Bible is the primary extension of God’s authority because it affirms God’s wishes and is the “Word of God.”  Both Catholics and Evangelicals accept God as their primary authority. For Catholics, the church is the primary extension of God’s authority because Jesus founded the Christian church through St. Peter. For Catholics, the Bible supports what the church teaches. For Evangelicals, the Bible is the primary extension of God’s authority because it affirms God’s wishes and is the “Word of God.”

The controversy was heightened when Representative Mark Walker, Republican of North Carolina and a Baptist minister, said Thursday in an interview with the Hill newspaper that he hoped the next chaplain of the House might come from a nondenominational church tradition who could relate to members with wives and children.

Comment: Sounds like Mark Walker has control issues or is there another motive?

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), one of the leaders of the committee searching for a replacement for the ousted House chaplain, said the next spiritual leader of the House should be someone with a family who can better relate to and counsel lawmakers with spouses and children.

Declaration of IndependenceWHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

Comment:  Jesus did not have a spouse or children

The controversy exposed long-simmering tensions between Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians over who should be lawmakers’ religious counselor. And a public clash between Southern Evangelical Republicans and Northern Catholics could play to the advantage of Democrats.

Comment: Who are Southern Evangelical Republicans and Northern Catholics and Jesuits?

Evangelicalism  – Evangelical Christianity, or Evangelical Protestantism is a worldwide, transdenominational movement within Protestant Christianity, maintaining that the essence of the gospel consists in the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s atonement.

Jesuits –  represent a society or an order that has been instituted by Pope Paul III to spread Christianity by all means possible.  They hold the same core beliefs as Catholics do. In fact, they are considered rather more liberal than Catholics. However, this is just stereotyping, and no more as Jesuits remain a part of the catholic religious order.

Catholics – Another big difference is that evangelicals believe that it’s in the Bible that God speaks to us to tell us about himself and how he wants us to live.  Catholics believe that he also speaks through the teachings of the Catholic church and the Pope.  But Jesus said that only the Bible is the word of God, not the additional teachings of religious leaders  (Mark 7:1-13).

In the interview, Father Conroy expounded on matters like sexual harassment and a possible spiritual crisis in Congress. He said he was asked during his job interview whether he had ever molested a child. And while he said he had never been asked to counsel a victim of sexual harassment or assault, he had handled cases of workplace abuse during his tenure in the House.

“Think about it: Who are the people who run for office?” he was quoted as saying. “Are they all highly skilled in every endeavor? No! They’re not. Many of them, I can tell you, don’t know how to say hello in the hallway, let alone work with office people who maybe they don’t think they have to listen to.”

The chaplain of the House said on Thursday that he was blindsided when Speaker Paul D. Ryan asked him to resign two weeks ago, a request that he complied with but was never given a reason for.

“This will have ramifications,” Mr. Jones said Friday afternoon. “This is bigger than Father Conroy and the House of Representatives. This is about religion in America.”

Comment:  Much like Cain and Abel you know the story –  Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd. When it was time to offer sacrifices to God, Cain brought fruit from the ground and Abel brought the fat portions from some of the firstborn. God favored Abel’s sacrifice, but He didn’t extend that same grace to Cain. This rejection made Cain angry and God admonished Cain to do the right thing and his sacrifice would be accepted. Cain was also warned that if he refused to do the right thing—sin was ready to consume him. Albeit Conroy and Ryan are not brothers – Ryan has presented a picture of anger and murdering his brother Conroy in the House.

Politics – Romans 13:1 – 7 

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. …

Source: Wikipedia,   The Hill; The New York Times; Elizabeth Dias

What are your thoughts on this controversial topic?

 

 

Florist Receives Death Threats Over Flowers for #Gay Marriage Ceremony

Gay Marriage – Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

Death threats for opposing gay marriage? Florist appeals to Supreme Court

When Barronelle Stutzman took a stand for her Christian beliefs nearly five years ago, she never imagined that she would eventually be appealing to the US Supreme Court to defend her decision.

New York City, N.Y. (CNA/EWTN News) – But that’s exactly what happened.

“This was never on my bucket list,” Barronelle told CNA.

The 72-year-old grandmother is the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, and is currently involved in a lawsuit involving a customer of nearly 10 years, Rob Ingersoll.

Barronelle knew Rob was gay from the beginning. “It was never an issue,” she said. She enjoyed working with him, and said he would pick out creative vases and containers, and would come in with flower requests for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.

“I loved doing arrangements for Rob, because I got to think outside of the box, and do something special for him.”

But when Rob came in and told Barronelle that he had gotten engaged to his boyfriend, she took him by the hand and explained that she believed marriage to be a sign of the relationship between Christ and the Church, and so she could not do the floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

Initially, Rob said that he understood and asked if she could recommend another florist, which she did.

Later, however, his partner posted a message on social media about Barronelle declining to take part in the wedding, and it went viral. Soon, she was informed that she was being sued by the Washington State attorney general and the ACLU. Today, more than four years later, Barronelle is waiting to hear whether the US Supreme Court will take her case.

And while the actual damages being sought by the couple are only around $7 — the mileage cost of driving to another florist — Barronelle could be responsible for more than $1 million in legal fees to nearly a dozen ACLU lawyers opposing her in the case.

Barronelle, who is Southern Baptist, spoke at a panel discussion in New York City last November, hosted by ADF International, the global branch of the non-profit legal group that is representing her in court.

“Because I have a belief that is marriage is between one man and a woman, we could possibly lose everything we own, everything we’ve saved for our kids and grand-kids,” Barronelle said.

Comment:  What Does The Bible Say About Homosexuality –

1 Timothy –

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Genesis 2:24

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

1 Corinthian 7:2

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Leviticus 18:22

22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

She explained that while the decision to decline a same-sex wedding was difficult, it was the only way she could stay true to her beliefs. For her, weddings are much more than simply a job — they’re a deeply personal labor of love, and she pours her heart and soul into her work.

“I spend months — sometimes years — with the bride and groom. I get to know them personally, what they want to convey, what the bride wants, what her vision is. There’s so much personal involvement in this.”

With floral arrangements for weddings being such a personal endeavor, she knew that she would be betraying her relationship with Christ if she participated in a same-sex wedding ceremony.

Over the last four-and-a-half years, Barronelle has received an outpouring of support –customers coming in to offer a kind word or a hug, strangers telling her they are praying for her family, and messages of encouragement from 68 countries.

But she’s also received death threats. She’s had to install a security system and change her route to work.

Also hard, she said, has been losing her relationship with Rob. She said she misses him and harbors no anger against him.

“I can tell you that if Rob walked into my store today, I would hug him, catch up on his life, and I would wait on him for another 10 years if he’d let me.”

She also has a message for her fellow Americans: stand up for religious freedom, before it’s too late.

“If we don’t stand now, there will be nothing to stand for.”

Comment:  Some Christians are strongly opposed to legalizing what they view as sinful behavior  and a perversion of God’s plan for marriage and distinct gender roles (Genesis 2:24, 3:16-19, Leviticus 20:13, Mark 10:6-9). Other Christians view equal civil rights for gays and lesbians to marry as a requirement of Bible teachings that we must act with kindness and respect for all people and avoid judging the moral choices others make, (Matthew 22:37-40, Matthew 7:1-5, Romans 14:10-14, James 4:11-12).

 

What’s your opinion?

 

 

 

Source:  By CNA/EWTN News

#FloridaShooting I’d Run #POTUS

Will Substitutes required to carry a weapon, if we can’t control the women and men who are having relationships with children how will we manage the emotions of adults with weapons in certain school districts?

Words spoken by your President – Donald Trump

“You don’t know until you test it, but I think, I really believe I would have run in there even if I didn’t have weapon.” stated Trump.  The same one who thinks:

1. “We’re not bombing. We’re not doing much. We have a president that thinks ISIS has been contained. We have a president that doesn’t know what’s happening. So when you say we’re bombing, we’re not bombing.”

2. The Generals have been reduced to rubble…They have been reduced to a point where it’s embarrassing to our country…

3. “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

4. “Torture works. Ok, folks?” You know, I have these guys – ‘Torture doesn’t work!’ – believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.

5. “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” (regarding Vladimir Putin

6. “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

7.  “…My primary consultant is myself, and I have a good instinct for this stuff”

8.  “These people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns — it may be 10% or may be 40%. And what I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus,” Trump said. “They’ll frankly feel more comfortable having the gun anyway. But you give them a little bit of a bonus.”

9. “I’m very pro-choice,” Trump says. “I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But you still — I just believe in choice.” Later in an interview with Tapper –

TAPPER: Let me ask you about a few social issues because they haven’t been issues you have been talking about for several years. I know you’re opposed to abortion.

TRUMP: Right. I’m pro-choice.

TAPPER: You’re pro-choice or pro-life?

TRUMP: I’m pro-life. I’m sorry.

What am I #Concerned about:  I must  ask myself what would I do, I ponder what would have President Obama done.  Who are “these” people he is referring to, did you know more than one-third of the shootings—34 percent—involved a shooter who was prohibited from possessing firearms?

If teachers get bonuses for carrying a weapon what will substitutes get considering a teacher‘s salary average about 3 times as much?  Will Substitutes be required to carry a weapon, if we can’t control the women and men who are having relationships with children how will we manage the emotions of adults with weapons in certain school districts?

10. “Two Corinthians, 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame,” Trump said. (The relevant verse: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”)

I do not believe the Spirit of the Lord resides (with Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC) however I do believe that God is not foolish and would not leave us nor forsake us.  I remember another instance where all went awry for a man named Job and He stood on what he knew to be true, regardless of what his friends and family thought.  Job was victorious and I am 1000% sure we can and will be victorious through these difficult times as well.

Source:  Thirdway.com By Sanaa Khan
Source:  CNN
Source:  The Federalist
Source:  The Washington Post
Source:  Teacher Portal
Source Everytown Analysis

 

 

Izwi Lahlab’inhliziyo Yami – Soweto Gospel Choir

I used Shazam to discover Izwi Lahlab’inhliziyo Yami by Soweto Gospel Choir. https://www.shazam.com/track/47479145/izwi-lahlabinhliziyo-yami

#Morningmeditationforyoursoul

Blessings to All This Morning Of My Joy by Richard Smallwood. https://www.shazam.com/track/45266565/center-of-my-joy

#BillyGraham and #AfroAmerican #History

As the nation mourned the death of “America’s pastor,” one aspect of the Rev. Billy Graham‘s life especially worth highlighting is his connection to the historic civil rights movement. The Christian evangelist evolved from a farmer’s son in the segregated South into an unlikely proponent of racial equality, intersecting with the lives of two of the most iconic Black…

via Billy Graham’s Relationship With Black America, Explained — News One

#morningmeditationforyoursoul

Praise Him for He loves us enough to make our crooked – straight, our valleys – high and our mountains low, He’ll wipe the tears and renew our strength we shall mount up with wings of eagles and not falter we shall run and not faint, He IS THE Lord of Lord, Lily of the Valley our rose of sharron the BRIGHT and Morning star ohhhhh Jesus I shutter to think where would it be if it had not been for those twins called GRACE AND MERCY

#morningmeditationforyoursoul

The funny thing about the questions of life is that the ones we ask at the end are the ones we should begin with. It is tough to craft a meaningful life without considering our end: What do we hope for, what do we dream for as it relates to our lives, our family, our children?

Source: YouVersion

#morningmeditationforyoursoul

Have you ever had money, cars, [clothes] on the rise, loose it all and can’t see that you’re still the winner, God is still able. Be not moved by circumstances, stand…

The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”
2 Samuel 18:33 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/2sa.18.33.NIV

#morningmeditationforyoursoul

If nothing changes, nothing changes. Thank you Lord for my #deliverance Ex. 14 ..BUTTTTT what about this that and the other thing; I couldn’t get 2 chapters without forgetting what He already did…

That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
Exodus 14:30‭-‬31 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/exo.14.30-31.NIV

#Everthing Works Out #morningmeditationforyoursoul

I

n him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:11‭-‬12 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.1.11-12.NIV

#Morningmeditationforyoursoul

In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid, The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work. I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”
Nehemiah 2:1‭-‬2‭, ‬4‭-‬5‭, ‬16‭, ‬18‭-‬20 NIV

https://bible.com/bible/111/neh.2.1-20.NIV

Not 60 Minutes Into the New Year #2018

I saw it with my own 2 eyes, a glimmer of hope,

On the road the – first day out in the New Year 2018! I saw two fire truck incidents, a man had a dead battery at Auto Zone and needed a ride to his car, #Splash wss closed and I had just opted for the monthly plan, the customer service representative at #Stop&Shop was rude, I watched a lady back her car into the car behind heFriends Having Lunchr at the drive window.

Then there it was! Yup, I saw it with my own 2 eyes, a glimmer of hope, 2 little girls having lunch smiling, sharing their phones with one another – if you don’t look for hope you may not find it…

Take me back, take be back oh Lord

The Garbage Can Rolled In Front of #theBus

We all have had moments when we wanted something better,

The Garbage Can Family

I won’t be long with this story for the hour is late and I’m not sure where I’m going with this story, I’m so filled with many emotions, fear, guilt, shame, sadness, anger, jealousy and resentment. There once was old lady who live in a shoe she had so many children she didn’t know what to do.  She loved some and disliked others; she would compare her family to other “great” families both near and far.  Her family like most families in the neighborhood had their fair share of problems, cheating husbands, drug addiction, alcoholism, child abuse, lack of education, love and the inability to love.  She wanted something better for herself and I suppose her children – what I think she wanted were trophy’s something tangible that validated who she was and her desire for “something better” that would also give her background meaning and purpose.Garbage at the bus stop

We all have had moments when we wanted something better, something more, just one more dollar, a better car, a better job or suit/dress to wear to that “better” job.  I ask you to examine yourselves today are you looking for “something better” or “just one more”?  There was a woman who cried out saying, “my husband is dead, and you know the creditor is coming to take my son to be his slave.” So, someone said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Nothing is in the house but a jar of oil.”  He said, “Go, borrow jars from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty jars; do not gather just a few, and when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”  The woman did as she was told, and she poured, and she poured, and she poured, and jars kept coming from out of nowhere.  Her faith in the person that God used to get her through the tough times was beyond belief.  There will come a time when we must all find the strength not in the comfort of those we know but in that “stranger” that God has sent to help us along the way.

We must ask ourselves what has God given us to help our family, is it our funding, jars of oil, extra garbage bag linings for what we have deemed as “the trash” of our family because they don’t mirror the folks around the corner or the ones in the next town over or even the family on your favorite sit-com, or perhaps all we have to distribute equally and evenly is our love for each one of our family members and then watch our ROI increase…

#Sexual #MisConduct – #POTUS

break and destroy any aggression, attempts of the enemy

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that women who accuse someone of sexual misconduct deserve to be heard, even if it involves President Donald Trump. “I know that he was elected, but women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them,” Nikki…

via Nikki Haley: President Trump’s Sexual Misconduct Accusers Should be Heard — TIME

Why won’t this happen – #Satan loves a #scandal so with that said…

We ask You #Lord #Jesus to break and destroy any aggression, attempts of the enemy to penetrate, curses resulting in the destruction of the mind, behavioral perversion, schemes of the enemy or wicked people, self condemnation and sexual perversion.

Amen in the #NameThatIsofChristJesus

Book of Prayers

 

#Satanic Pedophilia Network is Being Exposed

The New World Order cult that rules the world administers a Satanic Pedophilia Network, including top-level politicians like Australian Prime Ministers and US Presidents.

(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) — President Donald Trump has recorded automated phone messages urging support for Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. White House spokesman Raj Shah said Saturday that Trump has recorded the phone message on Moore’s behalf. Moore’s campaign said the calls will go out to households Monday, a day ahead of the…

via President Trump Records Robocalls for Roy Moore — TIME

http://humansarefree.com/2016/02/satanic-pedophilia-network-exposed-in.html

 

Interesting #Bible Questions and Answers

Looking to explore the Bible and have fun take a look at my Facebook Page – click iInteresting Bible Questions and Answersn box to the right with whispy image.

In The #Valley

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
      He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
      he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
  Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

Just who and what is a “shepherd”? Some say your mom and father are shepherds because they take of us as infants and some of us well into our adult years.  A husband can be a shepherd to his wife, (that’s my story).  Teachers are shepherds to their students, employers to their staff – basically, anyone responsible person who to takes care of another human being can be considered a shepherd.  They provide food, clothing and may shelter.

Maslov indicated a hierarchy of needs for humans they are:

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.

5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

The deficiency needs (the first 4) are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the need to fulfill such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. This might be why some women will have some interesting behaviors and patterns towards men when we are single.  That’s another story you’ll find under #Cinderella when I post it later…

Meanwhile, those needs that Maslov talks about – I find it interesting that all those needs appear to motivated by self.  Nowhere does it mention that those 5 needs can be supplied by God, the Lord or Jesus Christ.  However, if you look closely at the 5 needs and read Psalm 23 you’ll see clear and plain as day.  If that be true this #Valley or #Wilderness I’ve been in these last few months – I must believe that He will fill every  valley, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low;  and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

Myrna Summers

Although Satan in his rage would tear thee,
And with all his winning arts would snare thee,
Even down to thine old age I’ll bear thee,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

One more stop on the Journey to Freedom….

 

#morningmedicineforyoursoul

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago–whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, [only] God knows–such a man was caught up to the third heaven. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].
2 CORINTHIANS 12:2‭, ‬10 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/2co.12.2-10.AMP

The #Playground

Those were the good old days when the old LaSalle ran great – a line from prelude song to The Archie Bunker Show. Our interested changed from watching the Electric Company to wanting to be Marsha on the Brady Bunch or who didn’t want to either be Thelma on Good Times or go out with Michael?

smiling-baby-playground

Infants, adults like to hold, smell and play with them.  As children, we like to play with things, dolls, games and other toys.  As adults we play with babies and sometimes grown up toys like cars and large flat screen televisions.  Infants smile at us as we pretend to speak a language intended only for them.  We think the infants are smiling at us, believing they understand our gibberish;  the remarkable thing is that infants are smiling because our facial features are changing and babies find it fascinating.

As toddlers we are shuffled off to the playground for enjoyment; we get great pleasure out of going to the beach or the amusement park, there are so many things to do and see.  Our friends are there, and we have an excellent opportunity to “network” as toddlers.  The boys are fascinated with frogs and such, and the little girls are not very interested in worms but the swings, oh the swings. Do you remember running to the swings, (one had to run especially if they were empty).  As young little girls would all run in sync to the swings, and we all did the same thing, you know what was!  We would jump on them, stand up, push and drop ourselves at the waist as we swung back and pushed forward with all our might and when the momentum was just right – – we would drop down in the seat and swing on that swing for the entire 45-second thrill of the moment.  That thrill lasted until we mustered up enough energy (which took all of 10 seconds) to do it again, and again and again.

 

playgroung-succint-swinging-1 playgroung-succint-swinging

 

As time goes on we turn into teenagers and the swings and the sliding boards don’t have that appeal and excitement as they once did, we now seek other more “grown up” toys in the playground.  The sleepover became a constant – well as long as our parents were in agreement.  We would listen to music, comb our hair, have mini fashion shows and experiment with all the makeup we could find.  We would roll our hair,  braid it and talk about boys, and just have plain ‘ol simple fun all night until we passed out or we heard that crackling voice from downstairs, that demanded we “turn out those lights and go to bed.” Of course, the “darkness” was just as much fun; we would always find a way to continue to engage until dawn.

Those were the good old days when the old LaSalle ran great – a line from the prelude of The Archie Bunker Show.  Our interests changed from watching the Electric Company to wanting to be Marsha on the Brady Bunch or who didn’t want to be either  Thelma on Good Times or go out with Michael?  Me, I just wanted the Evans family to keep the money they found and move into a better neighborhood.  Then there it was – The Jeffersons – the family that made it from the ghetto to the Upper East Side – who didn’t want to slap the maid and fire her?  Sure our playground(s) was starting to change.

 

alone-in-a-room

I’m not sure how it happens, I suspect there can be a lot of reasons and rationalizations as to why our interests and desires change from wholesome fun to a desperate need for something more.  Was it the guy who broke our hearts, or the father who was never there, perhaps it was that man who raped us on a family trip – and just when we thought it was over, as we are traveling down the road 6 states away from home, on a  street we have never walked on – there he is, the rapist in the car adjacent to the one grandpa is driving.  The sheer horror, yet there’s no sound, no tears, no outward reaction, but you know, and now he knows it’s you…

Yea maybe that what is was, maybe the pain of that scenario at 15 was just a bit more than any 15-year-old who still likes to watch the Brandy Bunch and fantasize about being Marsha, having a large family a maid and a nice home could bear.  She wanted something different  so much that one day as  she’s getting out of the shower with a towel draped over her head (pretending to a girl with long hair), singing a song from around the way, “I can’t get off my horse …. ” and BAM her brother snatches the towel off her head, and yanks her out of her fantasy show moreover, she’s standing there now, as if now naked, her veil is gone, and she’s forced to face the stark reality that she’s just a black girl in the hood with a brother who has no compassion for her need to be…someone, anybody – else.

She needs another playground (the fantasy playground is  not working) one where no one will snatch her fantasy off, no one will know she’s from the hood, no one will question, “Why are you here,” a place where Nobody Knows Her Name and she can flush all the pain down the drain.

The adult playground is filled with all sorts of adrenaline raising toys, there’s gambling, flirting, shopping (for excessive unnecessary items), the hair store, clubs, sex, unavailable men and women, the drive for a better job, the attainment of one more degree, soap operas, unedifying television shows.  Speaking of television shows, one can get deeply lost in watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy.  Every character can be identified with, for example, the relationship between Izzy and Denny Duquette.

 

izzy-and-dennyIzzy the young intern and Denny the man who requires heart.  She falls in love with him and does the unthinkable – she tries to save him.  Don’t we all try to save a “him.” Save him from destruction, idleness, from that bad wife or from his trifling girlfriend.  So Izzy cuts his LVAD in hopes that the heart will be donated to him – well it does not quite work out that way.  Denny does not get the heart; he dies, and she has ruined her career.  Before she walks away a Knight in shining armor ( a bad boy) comes and sweeps her away from the pain of that moment – if only for one moment.    How many times have we lost ourselves in the playground of the salvation of another person? Perhaps one of the worst toys in the playground, because it rips so much of who we are away that we need a great deal of “good feelings” to replace the void.  Perhaps that’s the catalyst for drug abuse.

Could the desire for the playground be as simple as understanding that just as there is right and wrong, good and bad, there are also heavenly spirits and evil spirits that draw us into the playground.  If we could come to that understanding, and begin to look for the good and bad in our lives, come to understand how it works, the desire to enter the playground would diminish?

It would appear to me that much like the children’s playground – it closes at dusk, perhaps we should keep that in mind when we opt for toys in the playground.

If it closes at dusk, the toys are not meant to be taken home or played with excessively.

Dedicated to Carolyn S.

 

bus
To Be Continued…

 

#morningmedicineforyoursoul 

It’s An Inside Job – Hair, clothing, jewelry, cars, homes – Don’t let the lack of the finest things of “this world” measure your worth.
Your adornment must not be merely external–with interweaving and elaborate knotting of the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or [being superficially preoccupied with] dressing in expensive clothes; but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God.
1 PETER 3:3‭-‬4 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/1pe.3.3-4.AMP

#morningmeditationforyoursoul 

Trickery of the enemy lets us do wrong without regard for consequences,  trickery will tell us don’t tell the truth for consequences will surely find you. We sometimes struggle with “apologies” trickery will cause us to justify the unnecessity of performing the apology, trickery will tell us the recipient won’t receive it, trickery will tell us it will cause more harm, the Word tells us it the door to freedom.

And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mark 11:3‭, ‬25 KJV

http://bible.com/1/mrk.11.3-25.KJV

Are You Satisfied?

The Human condition is such that we may find ourselves in the valley of desiring something more, its in those valleys we must remember He can and most assuredly will satisfy our thirst.
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
Psalms 107:9‭, ‬12‭-‬13 KJV

http://bible.com/1/psa.107.9-13.KJV

#morningmedicineforyoursoul

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:2‭, ‬4‭-‬4‭, ‬6‭, ‬10‭-‬11 KJV

http://bible.com/1/1pe.5.2-11.KJV

Good Lesson (A True Story)

So many seemingly trivial Interactions between two people present us with a Choice. Do we act with compassion or do we pass up that opportunity.

making-time-for-god

Good Lesson

(A true story)

At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story.  My name is Mildred Honor. I am a former elementary school Music Teacher from Des Moines, Iowa.

I have always supplemented my income by Teaching Piano Lessons … something I have done for over 30 years. During those years, I found that children have many levels of musical ability, and even though I have never had the prodigy, I have taught some very talented students. However, I have also had my share of what I call ‘Musically Challenged Pupils.

One such pupil was Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his Mother (a Single Mom) dropped him off for his first Piano Lesson.

I prefer that students (especially boys) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby.  But Robby said that it had always been his Mother’s dream to hear him play the piano, so I took him as a student.

At the end of each weekly Lesson he would always say ‘My Mom’s going to hear me play someday.’  But to me, it seemed hopeless; he just did not have any Inborn Ability. I only knew his Mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up.  She always waved and smiled, but never dropped in.

Then one day Robby stopped coming for his Lessons.  I thought about calling him, but assumed that because of his lack of Ability he had decided to pursue something else.  I was also glad that he had stopped coming. He was a bad advertisement for my teaching!

Several weeks later I mailed a flyer recital to the students’ homes. To my surprise, Robby (who had received a flyer) asked if he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and that because he had dropped out, he really did not qualify.

He told me that his Mother had been sick and unable to take him to his piano lessons, but that he had been practicing.  ‘Please Miss Honor, I’ve just got to Play,’ he insisted. I don’t know what led me to allow him to play in the recital – perhaps it was his insistence or maybe something inside of me saying that it would be all right.

The night of the recital came and the high school gymnasium was packed with parents, relatives and friends. I put Robby last in the program, just before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he might do would come at the end of the program and I could always salvage his poor performance through my ‘Curtain Closer’.

Well, the Recital went off without a Hitch, the Students had been practicing and it showed.  Then Robby came up on the stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his Hair looked as though he had run an egg beater through it. ‘Why wasn’t he dressed up like the other students?’ I thought.  ‘Why didn’t his Mother at least make him comb his Hair for this Special Night?’

Robby pulled out the piano bench, and I was surprised when he announced that he had chosen to play Mozart’s Concerto No.21 in C Major.  I was not prepared for what I heard next.   His fingers were light on the keys; they even danced nimbly on the Ivories.  He went from Pianissimo to Fortissimo, from Allegro to Virtuoso; his Suspended Chords that Mozart demands were magnificent!  Never had I heard Mozart played so well by anyone his age.

After six and a half minutes, he ended in a Grand Crescendo, and everyone was on their feet in Wild Applause!!!  Overcome and in Tears, I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in Joy.

‘I have never heard you play like that Robby, how did you do it?’  Through the Microphone Robby explained:  ‘Well, Miss Honor, Remember I told you that my Mom was sick?   Well, she actually had Cancer and Passed Away this Morning.  And well… she was Born Deaf, so tonight was the first time she had ever heard me Play, and I wanted to make it Special.’

There wasn’t a Dry Eye in the house that evening.  As People from Social Services led Robby from the stage to be placed in to Foster Care, I noticed that even their Eyes were red and Puffy.  I thought to myself then how much Richer my Life had been for taking Robby as my Pupil.

No, I have never had a Prodigy, but that night I became a Prodigy … of Robby. He was the Teacher and I was the Pupil, for he had taught me the meaning of Perseverance and Love and Believing in Yourself; and may be even taking a chance on someone and you didn’t know why.

Robby was killed years later in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murray Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April, 1995.

A Footnote to the story: If you are thinking about forwarding this message, you are probably wondering which People on your address list aren’t the ‘appropriate’ ones to receive this type of message. The Person who sent this to you believes that we can all make a Difference!!!

So many seemingly trivial Interactions between two people present us with a Choice. Do we act with compassion or do we pass up that opportunity.

You Now Have Two Choices:
1. Delete this; OR
2. Forward it to the People you care about.  You know the choice I made.

Thank you for reading this!!  May God Bless You Today, Tomorrow and Always.

If God didn’t have a Purpose for us, we wouldn’t be here!

Live Simply.
Love Generously.
Care Deeply.
Speak Kindly.
Leave The Rest to God.

Source: Subitted by Kenneth Graham

#CampaignForPeace

What Can We Do? – So glad you asked

We can continue to post all the shootings and despair across social media – will that protect our loved ones, I think not. The march in Selma was used to generate media attention to the refusal to let Black folk vote. Equally whenever there is a (what we as viewers believe) is an unnecessary use of force, it has now become standard for the media to over feed us with snippets of the scene and later the media covers the locals who create a one-night vigil that may include additional law breaking activities. We can march from now till the cows come home, but ask yourself, “What change am expecting to see or what can change as a result of my march?” Will the police ask more questions before shooting, will our young men stop shooting each other? Will the school system change their delivery methods? If I march on Monday, will that create a stimulus for prison reform? If not, then it may be time to find our own individual purpose, our own personal values, identify what is important to us individually and collectively. I propose we start with the beginning – our infant babies. Have you have been in the presence of a baby and make that “baby noise” to induce a smile? Or have you ever turned your head at the right moment and see a precious baby in a stroller and at that exact moment the baby smiles at you? Who will take care of our babies while we go to war in the streets? Who will take care of the babies while we are locked up for protesting another black man tased and killed?

Would you like to participate in the #SmilingInfant #CampaignForPeace?  Submit a photo of a smiling infant or smiling toddler that would make the viewer smile to support & encourage others to focus on what is really important. 

For every post or news story about a shooting let’s post a “SmilingInfant”, let’s take a stand to keep this campaign of peace going throughout your community and other. 

Don’t just say we need to do “something” here something you can…

Children Who Have Died by Gun Fire

Federal data from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that between 2007 and 2011, an average of 62 children age 14 and under were accidentally shot and killed each year. But our analysis of publicly reported gun deaths shows that the federal data substantially undercount these deaths.  Mother Jones reported to follow statistics in December of 2013

  • 127 of the children died from gunshots in their own homes, while dozens more died in the homes of friends, neighbors, and relatives.
  • 72 of the young victims either pulled the trigger themselves or were shot dead by another kid.
  • In those 72 cases, only 4 adults have been held criminally liable.
  • At least 52 deaths involved a child handling a gun left unsecured.

Additional findings include:

  • 60 children died at the hands of their own parents, 50 of them in homicides.
  • The average age of the victims was 6 years old.
  • More than two-thirds of the victims were boys, as were more than three-quarters of the kids who pulled the trigger.
  • The problem was worst over the past year in the South, which saw at least 92 child gun deaths, followed by the Midwest (44), the West (38), and the East (20).

Chicago

60 Children Murdered in Chicago This Year

A school bus filled with children enrolled at Our Lady Of Guadalupe elementary school was apparently shot at in the South Deering neighborhood on Friday. A young girl and her mother were shot inside their home while sleeping on the Far South Side on Calumet Avenue early Thursday. Another child is being treated at Christ Hospital. One-year-old Jayilah Allen has a gunshot wound to the head.

20 U.S. Kids Hospitalized Each Day for Gun Injuries – Nearly a third of these shootings are accidental, study finds

A review of hospital records found that firearms caused 7,391 hospitalizations among children younger than 20 during 2009, the most recent year for which records are available, said Dr. John Leventhal, lead study author. Of those shooting victims, 453 died while in the hospital. More than half of the gun injuries involved an attack on the child, but nearly one-third were unintentional, the investigators found. (Others were of undetermined causes or from suicide attempts.) Three of four hospitalizations of children younger than 10 resulted from accidental injuries.

Adam was charged to maintain the garden and its inhabitants, yet he failed when his wife (Who was under the bond of Satan) suggested they eat from the “tree”; Adam blamed Eve and said to God – The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Adam once again was unable to prevent the son of his wife, Cain from killing Abel in a jealous frenzy –  And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

It takes 2 people to create a child, yet in many homes the child is raised by one parent.  Raising children is not a difficult task when there are two parents who understand the precious value of a child’s life – Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

What Can We Do? – So glad you asked

We can continue to post all the shootings and despair across social media – will that protect our loved ones, I think not.  The march in Selma was used to generate media attention to the refusal to let Black folk vote.  Equally whenever there is a (what we as viewers believe) is an unnecessary use of force, it has now become standard for the media to over feed us with snippets of the scene and later the media covers the locals who create a one-night vigil that may include additional law breaking activities.  We can march from now till the cows come home, but ask yourself, “What change am expecting to see or what can change as a result of my march?”  Will the police ask more questions before shooting, will our young men stop shooting each other? Will the school system change their delivery methods?  If I march on Monday, will that create a stimulus for prison reform?  If not, then it may be time to find our own individual purpose, our own personal values, identify what is important to us individually and collectively.  I propose we start with the beginning – our infant babies.  Have you have been in the presence of a baby and make that “baby noise” to induce a smile?  Or have you ever turned your head at the right moment and see a precious baby in a stroller and at that exact moment the baby smiles at you?  Who will take care of our babies while we go to war in the streets?  Who will take care of the babies while we are locked up for protesting another black man tased and killed? 

Are you a father who sells drugs because the “man” won’t give you a job?  Are you a dad who is dependent on the mother’s welfare check, living illegally in public housing?  Are you a woman who is slinging dope to feed your children while the father is doing time for slinging dope? 

And you are working, raising your children, going out for a Sunday walk in the park, and talking “ish” about the brother across the tracks who won’t pull his pants up and that girl with red and gold braids in her hair, taking selfies of her rear end and posting them on Facebook.  She does that because she is “looking” for something and she thinks she will find it the number of “likes” she gets. I have yet to see any one address anyone of these women directly and tell her why and how she can do better. Maybe, when she was a “baby” smiling in her stroller no one thought about tomorrow.  I propose if you want better, do better, and that means starting with the babies.

Update August 31, 2016

Sharyn's Grandson
Man of the Church

This little fella stole the hearts of all the women at church.  His grandmother would bring him and I would watch him “float” around the church from one cooing woman to the next.  One day I thought to myself as I walked around, I’m going to just ‘take’ him.  To my surprise he didn’t bat an eye.  Oh my the lashes on this baby were to die for.

Dying, our babies are dying in the street and upon arrive of the ER – Police are investigating the shooting deaths of two men Tuesday night. One of the men has been identified as Tyree McCrea, 36, of New Haven, Officer David B. Hartman said early Wednesday. The second man’s name had not been confirmed; he is believed to have been in his 20s. Twenty, twenty years old! What were your doing at 20 years old, now that you know would you change anything?

Update August 16, 2016

Michele's Daughter
#BestFriend

This photo was submitted by one of my best friends in high school. I had no idea about the meaning or definition of the phrase “Best Friend” back then. I friend was a person who hung out with me, we called each other on the phone – morning, noon and night. A friend would wait for me after every class as would also, we would meet up in the morning before school, after school and all day during school. We would share secrets and gossip about other friends. We would never cross the huge invisible boundary of dating each others ex-boyfriends and we would honor and protect each other through the bad, the good and the ugly times. I must say not much has changed in my definition/understanding of “Best Friends” I still expect the same level of commitment from a friend that I offer. I must say that if you find that you are not on my “Best Friend” list today it was not because I ejected you from the list. With that said, Michelle and I had some great times together and for a long period of time we were disconnected – she moved away, I went in the Armed Forces, after a decade or so our paths crossed one night and we spent hours on the phone – as if time had gently stopped ticking in our absence from one another. This is a reason for me to #smile and for a few seconds I will not think about the violence in this world, the insane presidential election, or any nonsense. This is a reason for me to stay on the #roadlesstraveled – so I will be ready when the next “Best Friend” travels through and remember what made us #friends. Submit a picture of a smiling baby today to participate in #msconcerneds #campaignforpeace #smilinginfant It must be a “real” photo with parental permission!!! We must do something to counteract the daily violence posted by the media. Are you willing to help? Send your photo today, what better way to thing on peaceful things than looking an infant smiling – surely their lives are worthy of us helping each other…

 

 Dirmy's Grandaughters
Two Scoops of Wholesome Fun

According Carol Austin vice president of marketing, “July is winding down, and while we’re hopeful that August brings some slightly more pleasant weather, we’re a tad wistful that National Ice Cream Month is coming to an end. As a way to celebrate just one more time, was offering a sweet deal on all your favorite flavors. Here’s a sweet deal that will last a life time, 2 scoops in this photo will provide endless days of smiles. The photo was submitted by a long time family friend who has seen his share of alleged murderers, rapists, thieves and con-artist. A lover of the #DallasCowboys and a concerned member of his community, family and the elderly. There are many sweet scoops of life in this man and his two grandchildren. What will you do in your community to help foster peace and growth among the residents?

 

Eldorado's Daughter
“Stanka”

 

The parents of this little girl has allowed us to share in the personal viewing of her life since birth. Each photo gave me and hundreds of others a reason to smile and immediately remove my care and concern for “this” world and the hatred and violence that is rapidly increasing – if only for a minute. I would like to thank her parents for allowing me start my #CampaignForPeace with their daughter’s photo. My hope is that for every violent story posted someone will forward a picture of a smiling infant to counteract the despair some may feel as this world turns upside down.

 

 

NorthLake Mall Baby
She made me stop and take a look

 

This little girl was in the  North Lake Mall in Charlotte North Carolina, as I was walking back in to the mall shopping area, I was so intrigued by her face and her smile which was so sudden and quick – not be a professional photographer I could not catch it. Nonetheless, I will always remember how quickly she smiled and the warm willingness of her parents to give me (a stranger) to use her photo for my #CampaignForPeace.

 

 

 

 

montrell_jackson
Montrell and his son

Montrell Jackson wrote this message on July 8, 2016 and was murdered on July 17, 2016. “I’m working in these streets, so any protesters, officers, friends, family, or whoever,” the 32-year-old officer he wrote on his Facebook page, “if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer, I got you.

 

 

 The Twins
Double Miracle

The story of Mary – the mother of Jesus is remarkable. The Lord chose her a woman of no great notoriety or significance; that is until she found herself a virgin and with child. Had it not been for the Angel that spoke to Joseph and told him about the birth she could have been outcast and divorced from her family and friends. However a woman that can produce two babies falls under the category of miraculous. Imagine two, two of everything, two hearts, two heads, two smiles – double the fun of watching them grow. I implore you to please put your anger under submission and think on these precious little people.

 

Thomas' Daugher
Coming Into Her Own

This little girl grew up into a woman that has self-defined herself and in that she owns her definition of peach. Demonstrated by inaction and forgiveness when others hurt her, she never desires to retaliate in like manner to others. Much like her daddy, she disapproves of any type of bullying. She doesn’t understand any way to be but herself. She believes the best she can be is – to do for others.

 

 

 

 

Allisons Daughter Once I was 7 Years Old
“Once I Was Seven Years Old”

She made it to age 13 and counting, some have not been so blessed.  I met her mother and aunt in Connecticut. At first glance I thought they were 2 interesting young ladies, never had I seen someone decorate their cube with pillows!  Their mother is a walking reference manual, she provided me with enough material to write an entire paper on the progression of