Spirituality

Consequences

Month Old Baby

I saw this post (while procrastinating about writing on my book) my heart was crushed as tears formed at the thought of who would do such a thing and why, rushed in.   While we enjoyed the fruits of the eighties and now that the trees are bare and the consequences of our neglect of family, friends and the Savior are coming into fruition, it has caused us as a people to argue over the root cause of these disastrous times.

We argue over why the police kill, religion and the source of religion, religion vs. spirituality, how to eat healthier at McDonald’s, did the government kill Martin Luther King, did God allow Hitler to kill the Jews because of their beliefs regarding God, to tithe or not to tithe.  Some of us have still not come to the place where we can totally accept and follow the One who knows all, sees, all and hears all.  Interrupted by the constant ringtone of yet another post on Facebook, or the Twitter tweets and other social media platforms; we have begun an endless cycle of refusal to heed the calling of a much higher Authority than social media.  While we argue about this and that, there is one who is reaping the fruits of our inability to “learn his ways” and the fruits of his labor are working in overtime mode.

There is a place where only true peace resides; where the killing of young black men and women, the rage of the lions in Washington, DC, the need to draw a line in the sand of religious differences has no relevance.  A place where one can make sense of tragedy or at least come to terms with it, a place where self-reliance has no value.  There is a place here on earth, that when tapped into will answer all questions, straighten every crooked line, lower what seems like an immovable mountain, and raise the valleys for easier passing.  I know, I know, it sounds like something you heard in a church or a line in a sermon or even in a Book you may have read, but the reality is, it’s true.

I don’t know who glued the baby’s lips shut or why, but I know the source from which it came and I know a Greater source that take care of it, there are always consequences…

Psalm 37:1-40

Of David. Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. …

MsConcerned

 

 

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Spirituality

What It Means to be Broken

Each time I find my self in a broken state my relationship with God grows to another level. I want my cup to be filled…

Broken I run to You

These past few weeks I’ve had quite a few talks with people about what brokenness really is. What does it mean to be broken? And is it a positive thing to be broken?

I am well aware that in regular English something that’s broken isn’t a positive thing. Right now our beloved car is in a body and paint shop, because it’s broken. It needs to be fixed to function properly again. Also, when we talk about people, ‘a broken person’ often means somebody where something devastating has happened to them, and they barely know how to get up in the morning. Maybe their spouse or child died, and they just don’t seem to be able to find many reasons to live, and have in most ways lost hope.

Obviously, I think of something and somebody very different when I think, talk and teach about brokenness and what it means…

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Afro American Leaders, Black History

How Can You Teach Us Civics When You Can’t/Won’t Vote?

 

 

 

Martin Luther

Martin Luther King, Jr January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

 

On this day we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Most folk knew him for his speech, “I Have a Dream”.  A hero to blacks and source of pain for whites.  Martin was known for exposing the evil against black folk and providing peaceful ways for black man and women to claim ownership of simple and equal rights in America, note:  the Supreme Court disapproved of King’s methods.  Psalm 94:16 reads: Who will rise up against the wicked?  Who will stand for me against those who practice iniquity?  The federal government didn’t act until they were pressured to act; President Kennedy thought King was directed by Communists and President Johnson didn’t trust the King’s judgment and Hoover thought of him as a threat to national security.

King and ObamaOn Monday, November 2, 1964 King was questioned whether he had purchased a radio station urging Negros to write his name in for President.  King replied, This is a cruel and vicious attempt to confuse Negro voters and nullify their votes. So I would like to take this opportunity to urge every Negro voter to vote for one of the candidates on the ballot.  I am not a candidate, please do not write in my name.  This will waste the entire ballot.  The handbills and radio announcements urging you to write in my name are part of an attempt to cancel out your vote.  This is an insult to me and to Negroes generally.   I call on you to repudiate this plot by getting out and voting for one of the candidates on the ballot.”

1954 – Did you know that Strom Thurmond, the late South Carolina Senator who served for nearly 48 years was the first write-in candidate elected to the U.S. Congress. Thurmond ran as a write-in candidate after the death of Senator Burnet R. Maybank in 1954 to protest the South Carolina Democratic Executive Committee’s nomination of State Senator Edgar Brown rather than by primary election.  At the time, the Democratic Party was the only party in South Carolina, so if Thurmond had not stepped in, Brown would have easily won the election without a challenge. The states that do not allow Presidential Candidates are: Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

 

Friday, January 1965, Selma’s teachers, 105 of them, men and women, dressed as if they were going to church, marched on the courthouse where the Registrar’s Office was, waving toothbrushes, a sign of their commitment to spend the night in jail if they had to.  Not long afterwards the students took to the streets, 161 of them carrying signs that read, “Let our parents vote.”   Selma’s Sheriff Clark charged them with truancy and force-marched them out of town, pursued by police, state troopers, and his own private posse.  They were beaten, they were shocked with electric cattle prods, and many fell to the ground unable to move.  One of these students, Letha Mae Stover, looked up and saw a police officer forcing her to rise, jabbing her in the back, remarking, “You want to march?  I’ll teach you how to march.”  But she couldn’t move, and she told him, “You might as well kill me.  I can’t get up.”

right to vote

Did You Know

Republican Party played a key role in the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  The Voting Rights Act was written in the office of Everett Dirksen, the Republican Minority Leader, and without his help and the help of others, the Act would not have passed.

 

 

hotel where king was shot
There was a “hush” over America on April 4, 1968

 

 

One of President Obama’s favorite quotes of Dr. King’s is the one that comes from Dr. King’s speech to the marchers at the end of the march on March 25, 1965.  “The arc of the moral universe is long,” King said, drawing on the words of the abolitionist, Theodore Parker, “but it bends towards justice.”  To which President Obama added, “Here’s the thing.  That arc does not bend on its own.  It bends because each of us, in our own way, puts our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice.”

Do you know the relevance of Acting Attorney General Nick Katzenbach?

 

 

MsConcerned

 

 

 

Purpose, Spirituality

Finding Your Purpose

Purpose Defined Over the years, I’ve always thought to myself, “why am I here?”. It wasn’t to be a life time soldier in the US Marine Corp, three years was forced sufficient (Mommy said I had to come home and not re-enlist – had to listen to mommy since I had no identity). I thought I would close mortgages for Merrill Lynch, three years was sufficient (considering they relocated to Florida). I suppose I was in that dark hallway searching for a light – you see I lost my identity as a student, and as a soldier.  After losing my job as a loan closer for Merrill Lynch I moved further away from the light.  During the years I worked for Merrill Lynch I was so full of pride and ego that I actually thought when asked by others, where was I employed, I thought bright blinking lights were shining behind my head – “She’s a Loan Closer at Merrill Lynch – Yes She’s Some BigWig”.  I continued to fall into a black hole, I had no guidance, I didn’t know that as  I traveled the Bus of Life that I was never alone, but it sure felt like it.   Every stop along the way I would find a job and claim that as my identity; the position I had defined who I was.  I never looked for a job at a place where I could “belong” or that had a vision that I cared about.  I looked for a job that would give me definition by the corporation’s name brand (if you will).  When we come across a word we are not familiar with we go to the dictionary, I was unfamiliar with Wendy and never had the gumption to find a “living dictionary” to help me connect the dots of my scattered outline of myself.

Then “he” comes along, looking rather handsome and I fall in love.  He proposes, we get married and finally, Wendy is defined.  The marriage has now taken away all the guilt of having a child out of wedlock, it has validated that of all the men I was involved with I could become someone’s wife.  I could now have a “home”, a father for my child, my mother will now love me and my father will not see me as his little lost girl.  Thirteen years later when the marriage fell apart, my “identity” fell apart too, and I literally lost my mind.

It has taken a few years to recover from that pain.   Still searching, I asked questions to my friends, family members, and professors, how do I find my purpose, what is my purpose.  Clergy folk suggested I pray and ask God what my gift is… gift I’m looking for something a little more than a gift.  After achieving 2 Masters degrees I thought this is it, I’m going to New York and get myself a $200K a year job and raise my head higher than my neck and then I will have arrived!  Well the story didn’t quite go like that. I went to New York at only $75K and had to leave because I felt the house of cards falling down at home in Connecticut (that was the beginning of the divorce drama).  I thought about self-employment, I am the owner of a newly formed consulting company which is still taking shape, in other words, no income!

… One day many years ago I had a conversation with my dad, he said to me, “Wendy when you get up in the morning and have to think twice about going to work, it’s time to go.”  Several jobs later I was still searching for that job that I did not have to think twice about or that filled my egotistical needs.  At the end of my rope, years had gone by women are CEOs, COOs, VP, etc., etc., I’m still an African American Woman with no purpose, no identity.  In 1998 a woman told me I needed to write a book about my life.  I thought ok, I started the book, and subsequently I have been given the same message “you should write a book” a hundred times. I was on a phone interview and the employer said to me, “I want to read your book when you finish writing it”, I was floored surely our conversation included nothing about me emotionally only my work ethics and what I thought I could do for the company.  Each time I start to write on the book, my life has a sense of purpose (I can still revert to I need to have substantial income), when I’m centered and writing, I feel a sense of calmness and peace within; this overrides the necessity of feeding my ego.  Of course, being human I tend to deviate from writing (my primary purpose) and think perhaps I need to verbalize my book – there’s something to be said about obedience…

Have I found my purpose, absolutely!  Years ago I started working as a Substitute Teacher in my home state.  I told my network of friends what I was about to embark on and their eyebrows raised and they informed me the school, I was going to work in was one of the worst schools in town.  The next morning, I rise and go to work, the first hour, I hear every profane word known to man.  I was called several names, none of which I will write here, I had doors slammed in my face, I saw fighting, gambling, sexual perversion – you name it and I had 6 hours to go.   I was in, hook-line-and sinker, I LOVED it.  I reached down inside and pulled my painful experiences up and out and began to talk to the children, I didn’t scream or shout.  I made them look me in the eye when they talked to me, I gave them the freedom to ask real life questions and I gave myself some freedom to share some personal information about my Bus Ride through this thing called life.  When I met them where they were, they slammed the door open to the possibility that I could be trusted, I would listen and I could hear them.  I don’t make 100K or 75K doing this, but I have the most awesome stories to share when I get home.  I don’t mind getting up in the morning and I never question is this right for me.  Lastly, if I were independently wealthy I would volunteer – that is my definition of Purpose, what do you love doing and would do it for free?

My Purpose is to help guide one through the hallway…

 

MsConcerned

 

 

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Judging, Spirituality

Judgmental

judgement “I can cultivate a judgmental attitude toward those who may not agree or cooperate with my plan. Grace killers are notorious for a judgmental attitude. It is perhaps the single most un-Christlike characteristic in evangelical circles today.”

Chuck Swindoll

Judgement as defined by Webster’s Miriam online dictionary is defined as, an opinion or decision that is based on careful thought (simple definition).  Yet there is another definition in the Full Definition section it reads, a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion, or the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing.  While reading various posts yesterday on Social Media, here were some that I felt passionate about and I posted my comments, others I just viewed and shook my head.  What I found interesting in many of the topics I viewed, almost immediately the posters deviated from the topic of the post to judging the writer of the other poster’s comments.  One topic that has been and I suspect will always be a subject of spirituality and religion to which some folk show a depraved indifference to the idea that what they believe is the only true form that they will verbally insult anyone who disagrees.  If you have never been hit in the head by a rock or a shoe, try reading some posts about religion and surely you will get a sense of the pain and anguish being hit in the head must feel like.

Sure, I have my biases when it comes to my faith and my trust in the one true God, however, I have learned to practice the idea of tolerance for others to point of not engaging in the “who’s right” comparative dialogue.  Albeit I shake my head and think to myself, “if you don’t believe in the God I choose to serve, why the need to attack me or other folk based on their belief system.”  The scripture states, “King James Version (KJV 1769) — Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  We have all heard and read (or perhaps not) this scripture, what I want to focus on today is the word, may.

The definition of “may” is, have the ability to:  have permission to <you may go now>:  be free to <a rug on which children may sprawl — C. E. Silberman> —used nearly interchangeably with can —used to indicate possibility or probability <you may be right>.  What comes to mind is that the enemy is not walking or lurking about devouring folk by persuasion, but the he is looking for folk who he may.  That means that not everyone is subject to his lurking.  Let’s suppose I were to retaliate verbally at every poster’s comment that went against my belief system, I would open myself up to be devoured by the spirit of judgement.  Offering my counter points to every comment would cause me to stand in judgement of the freedom of others’ beliefs…

2 Peter 3:1-18 ESV

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, …

MsConcerned