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?
Remember this story last year! well that predator known as cancer has returned to one of my loved ones. Much like the American Badger whose hunting ground is kin to a supermarket – Cancer is no respector of persons – women, men, and children are in the line of fire. Similar to the American Badger Cancer loves to hunt by night, but will take on day work. Contrarily, the Badger doesn’t hibernate, but slows down drastically in the winter – cancer will hibernate or appear to be gone for a season. None-the-less I trust God has a plan and that it is already alright.
She walked over the register and in a quite small voice, she asked if the hat she was holding was gray or black. In my smiling customer service voice, I said it’s gray, and the other one in your hand is brown. She said to me I have to wear these because I’m losing my hair. As she moved her hat back off her head I saw that her head sparingly had strands of hair, I began to cry. She said to me she had been diagnosed with #Breastcancer and was going for her last Chemotherapy (Chemo) treatment in the next few days.
She began to cry as she told me how she gets so tired sometimes, and I began to cry. I wiped the tears from my eyes in case another customer showed up. She went on to tell me how strangers would try to help her in the grocery store because they could see how tired she was, I began to cry and as I told her, let them help you – it’s okay, she began to cry. I walked around to the other side of the register and hugged her, and she cried, and I cried. I walked back around to the register in case a customer showed up.
I told her about my mom who is a #BreastCancer survivor and I said to her, my mom made it and she would too. I told her I believed that no matter what painful situations we find ourselves in they are all designed to help someone along the way. She told me how she had to leave her corporate job because they would not tolerate her going in and out of the hospital for Chemo and deal with the recovery period necessary for some patients after Chemo. I shook my head in anger.
I didn’t want to rush her tears, so I was silent for a moment and let her get through – as I too needed a moment to get through my emotions. Gently she asked me, do you think my daughter will like this (a yellow jumpsuit)? I said well, you know my mother used to tell me don’t through away your clothes away because they’ll come back. Who listens to their mother at 16? I said sure she would; I shared a story with her about my daughter. I told her I would buy things for her and most of the time she didn’t like them either. She might not tell me she didn’t like the item, but I would figure it out because she was using or wearing the it.
She shared a story of how she and her mother took her daughter shopping, and they got two chairs and let her daughter go and pick out her clothes. Then what she said next nearly through me on the floor. She said, you know I call my daughter “Little Bird”! Oh my goodness, the floodgates opened like a levy had broken, you see my father who passed away a little over a year ago, used to refer to my daughter as a bird. I remember when we talked on the phone he would ask me, “Where is that lil bird at?”
I’m not crying now I’m smiling at the memory. You see she was not there just to tell her #BreastCancer story she was there to provide healing to a stranger. We must have talked and cried for about an hour and not one customer or manager interrupted us that day at Macy’s Northlake in Charlotte, NC. God will always make a way!
What is Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body.
Chemotherapy is most often used to treat cancer since cancer cells grow and multiply much more quickly than most cells in the body.
For many women with breast cancer, treatment may remove or destroy cancer. The end of treatment can be both stressful and exciting. You’ll be relieved to finish treatment, yet it’s hard not to worry about cancer coming back. This is very common among people who have had cancer.
For other women, breast cancer may never go away completely. Some women may get regular treatments with Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other treatments to try to help keep cancer in check. Learning to live with cancer that does not go away can be difficult and very stressful. Living with cancer is different from living after cancer. (Cancer.org)
Effects of Chemo
Routine blood count monitoring is a crucial part of chemotherapy. That’s because the drugs can harm cells in the bone marrow, where blood is produced. This can result in several problems. Red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues. Anemia occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, making you feel extremely fatigued. Other symptoms of anemia include:
Chemo can lower your white blood cell count, which results in neutropenia. White blood cells play an important role in the immune system: they help fight infection and ward off illness. Symptoms aren’t always obvious, but a low white blood cell count raises the risk of infection and illness. People with an immune system weakened by chemotherapy must take precautions to avoid exposure to viruses, bacteria, and other germs.
Cells called platelets help the blood clot. A low platelet count, called thrombocytopenia, means you’re likely to bruise and bleed easily. Symptoms include nosebleeds, blood in vomit or stools, and heavier-than-normal menstruation.
Some chemo drugs can weaken the heart muscle, resulting in cardiomyopathy, or disturb the heart rhythm, causing arrhythmia. This can affect the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. Some chemo drugs can increase the risk of heart attack. These problems are less likely to occur if your heart is strong and healthy at the start of chemotherapy.
Share your V-I-C-T-O-R-Y Story if you are a 2014, 15, 16 #AnyYear Cancer Survivor!!!
“But he answered and said, Every plant, which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. ” (Matthew 15:13)
“And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” (Exodus 23:25)
Years ago I worked with a woman named Evelyn in New Haven, CT. If you had an opportunity to meet Evelyn you would be shocked to know she was living with Cancer. She was always smiling, never had a harsh word to say about anyone. Sometimes you just never know what someone is going through until you have a conversation with the person. Jennifer is much like my friend Evelyn, she choose to not to disclose her story outside of her family and friends. During our conversation I found her spirit to be calm and she was a patient listener. She openly shared with me some of her experiences and I learned a lot about “The Loss of Hair”. Should you get to meet or talk with Jennifer you too will be pleasantly surprised. Frankly during my short stay with Fusco Management, I was so caught up in my own “beginnings” and my father’s heart attack, that I had not stopped to wonder why Evelyn had so many absences from work. Subsequently, I’ve learned that it may not be in one’s best interest to share life’s negative moments to world immediately – the world has a way of taking our dark moments and twisting them until we can’t breath. Jennifer’s story is one strength, courage and it shows what a true support network is worth. Here’s Jennifer’s story…
My name is Jennifer F. Johnson, born June 26 under the zodiac sign of “Cancer”, which represents strength and courage.
My journey with breast cancer started in March 2011. My life came to a screeching halt, and suddenly I was forced to prioritize my life to accommodate for major changes ahead. I felt betrayed by my body and powerless! All I wanted was the cancer out! Cancer is a life-changing occurrence. The emotional and psychological scarring is almost as bad as the physical scarring.
I chose to be private during my diagnosis – only talking to my immediate family, immediate supervisor and a small circle of close friends who all were very supportive and prayerful. The most difficult part was telling my parents. I had more life to live with my family. After learning of my diagnosis, their concern quickly shifted and they became over-protective. I was the first in my family to experience breast cancer. Before treatment began, I found myself questioning “why me?” and “what did I do to deserve this?” I felt like giving up, but I prayed the prayer of faith.
I started taking a daily chemotherapy medication pill regimen (Xeloda) just to function and continue working. I was told I needed four chemo treatments, radiation and two years of hormonal treatment. I wasn’t very receptive to those suggestions but I had to come to terms with the hand God dealt me.
The doctors said that most patients’ biggest concern is hair loss. Mine was my quality of life. I wanted to continue to be as active as I always was. I didn’t want to depend on anyone to take care of me and I wanted to continue to live life as I always had.
The doctors were very optimistic that I’d be able to do all of what I was used to doing. Unfortunately, they were wrong! I experienced vomiting, nausea, fatigue, headaches, achiness and other possible side effects associated with chemo and radiation. Fourteen days after my first treatment, I began to lose my hair. Tears began to run down my face and reality then set in. It was incredibly dramatic and heartbreaking watching as my hair fell out every time I combed it. I had thick shoulder-length hair prior to starting chemo. and by the time chemo was complete, I was practically bald. Thank goodness for wigs and weaves!
I finally had lumpectomy surgery on both my left and right breast and had nodes removed. This journey with the diagnosis of cancer has truly been a testament to my faith in God. Today, I live to say that I trust Him even more now than I did before and I know He is a healer. He healed my body. It is a life altering process to be diagnosed, but God has promised me life and I believe Him.
Since my illness, I accept every opportunity to learn whatever I can about breast cancer – the causes, possible prevention, and how to help others going through this illness as I did. I have learned that it is very important to talk to your family and friends for support and not shut down. No one should go through this illness alone. I was determined to stay positive and live my life while battling cancer.
I remain determined to stay positive and live every day of my life to the fullest. I am grateful for the lessons that cancer has taught me.
“For all things I have strength by virtue of Him who imparts power in me:”Philippians 4:13.
Discipline is one of the basic dynamics in life needed to acquire and accomplish a better quality of life. Discipline coupled with three other dynamic elements were the keys that got me through my bout with this disease.
Number 1 was my faith in God who was the chief medical physician over an assorted team of doctors and surgeons. Number 2 was the discipline and willingness that was exemplified by my family, friends and coworkers, which reinforced Number 3, my strength and desire to continue to fight a good fight and never give up. That fight will forever burn in my spirit. These are the basic dynamics that served as my guide through the bout with cancer. I am a Survivor. I will never give up!
In 2013 according to the CDC, white women had the highest rate of getting breast cancer, followed by black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI), and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women.
One may never know the impact we have on each other as we navigate the road of this thing called life. When Rachael came on the Bus she smiled at me, she smiled as if we had been friends in another time and place. We met as employees of Yale University School of Medicine. She asked me out to lunch with her one day; we went to a Mexican restaurant across the street. One thing I had not acquired at that point in my life was the ability to engage with other women without an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. I didn’t think I had the right background, I didn’t think I was smart enough, I knew nothing about how to make an impact in my place of employment, hell I didn’t even know the rules and regulations of engaging with women outside of my 4 hour telephone conversations with my then “road dog – Vera” talking about other women, their men, our men, and thoughts on the latest TV show or perhaps local community events and of course the proverbial topic most of us have, “what WOULD Jesus do if He were here today”. I was at a total loss when it came to ordering food at place I had not been before, I had no clue what to order from a restaurant that I had never frequented or from a type of cuisine I had no desire to try. Rachael and her kind mannerisms made it comfortable for me, we ordered and we talked and for the first time I knew what it was like to “meet for lunch” with a female colleague. When she reads this it may be the first time since 2004 that she will become aware of my fears – unless she knew that day…
Little girl with the press and curl
Age eight, I got a Jheri curl
Thirteen, and I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter
At fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and went all natural
I went on and did what I had to do
Because it was time to change my life
To become the woman that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlocks all gone
I looked in the mirror for the first time and saw that
I too have delved in hundred of styles, colors, cuts and additions like the artists states in her lyrics above. I’ve made some changes to my hair because it was the latest style, or I thought it look great on someone else and of course I have changed my hair for “him” whoever he was at the time… but one thing I have never had the privileged to do was to have my hair changed without my permission only to find out that there is a “me” under that style. That “me” has nothing to do with my hair…
Rachel exudes this belief and the first time I saw her without her hair pictured in the photo below I was so moved by an array of emotions – sad, angry, confused, but most of I was educated on the #Truth about my hair and the strength of one African American woman’s courage to say to you and me – “…losing my hair was a gift…”
“I Am Not My Hair I am a 6 month triple negative breast cancer survivor and chemotherapy took my hair! Most people think when a diagnosis includes the word negative it’s all good. Chemotherapy took my hair! Triple negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer in which there is no targeted treatment. Chemotherapy took my hair! By choice I’ve always enjoyed trying different hairstyles, cuts, color, wigs, and weaves. But I didn’t have a choice, Chemotherapy took my hair! Losing my hair was a gift. I’ve never felt more beautiful and confident than I do today. When I rock my bald head, my smile is brighter, my head is held higher. I am a God fearing, beautiful, confident, and smart black woman. I AM NOT MY HAIR”
A truly phenomenal woman – This woman has traveled on the Bus with me since my birth. There were times when she had to get off the Bus and let me ride by myself; there were times when she had to sit in the back and watch from a distance; there were times when I kicked her off the Bus and begged her to get back on. Some days I hated that she was a catalyst for me and my Bus so much so that I wanted to leave the Bus for ever and there were days when I got off and tried real hard to never return.
Today I’m grateful for my catalyst, the Bus and let’s be honest there were days when I was on the back of the Bus and I had to watch her navigate so that I could draw upon her strength to remain on the Bus. This catalyst is my mom – during her Breast Cancer days – I had walked off the Bus and got lost. I’m here today to tell you I found the “right” location I got back on the Bus and we will ride this out together for the rest of our loves.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
A mother, the guiding force in a little girls life, the strength when she’s tired, a feeder when she’s hungry. A mother the wondrous powerful human being, who can hold, manage, and create another human being is a task only a woman has been designated to perform. That woman my mother, who’s looks and facial features can stop the tears of an infant – mid stream, make a toddler behave in church, put fear in her husband’s heart, and make a student learn their ABCs, 123s, home address and phone number in a song she makes up off the fly, can’t control the “ugly” in cancer.
I had decided to turn my life around after using drugs for many years and decided I would really give it my best shot after the other 2 times didn’t work. So here I am leaving the rehab facility and I’m on the bus traveling downtown and the bus stops to pick up a traveler. A young black girl gets on the bus and she has these long braid extensions in her hair and she’s very loud! I used to be very loud or, so everyone always made it a point to let me know how loud I was – and I’m still loud today when I’m passionate about some topic or when I’m not.
Any who, I find myself unable to stop watching this young lady and listening to her rant and rave about an incident with her son. She goes on and on with no regard for the other passengers on the bus. Just yelling and screaming and it occurs to me I can’t see who she’s talking to or if she is even talking to anyone on the bus. Well it would appear she is not talking to anyone or maybe no one is listening. The most puzzling thing that happens next is she get off the bus at the very next stop – I mean one block away! I said to myself, geese she could have walked that distance and save us from hearing her rantings about her son. Yea! she’s gone and off we go to our next stop – the drama some folk have with them!
At the next block the bus makes a loud machine-like noise and my first thought is, oh no the bus is breaking down, I don’t feel like walking or waiting for another bus. Much to my surprise the bus has a hydraulic system that allows the driver to lower the front end and allow the steps to convert into a ramp. In my infinite wisdom I had no idea this could happen – well I had not been a regular bus rider since I was in high school – scratch that since junior high. I was not aware of what was going on with the bus until I saw someone enter the bus on a wheel chair with a little boy. I thought to myself wow – technology sure has changed. You see when someone is on drugs their world becomes composed of about a 4-block radius. The place to purchase the drugs and the place to use the drugs – anything else that goes on in the world is of no or little importance.
The woman in the wheel was an older black woman and she had a look on her face that caused me to stare. I found myself unable to turn away from her face – much like I did with the screamer. Something about this woman drew me to her. At first I had no idea why, I’ve seen many folk in wheel chairs before and have felt sad, disconnected or have had great empathy for them. This day, this day is very different. As I continued to try to assess why I was so engaged with her I noticed something amazing. I looked at her and I thought based on her face alone, this woman was not born with this affliction, this was something that happened to her somewhere along her own “bus ride” whatever it was, however it happened it was well with her soul.
The odd thing that happened next was we traveled to the very next stop and she too like the loud girl got off the bus immediately. I’m thinking what is this, The One Block Bus Tour? Don’t these folk know I’m trying to get home, it’s a lovely day, it’s Friday and I have things to do, folk are getting on and getting off the bus when they could have ridden or walked one block! Why didn’t they walk or ride the one block?
I’ll tell you why, remember how the first young lady reminded me of myself just before I decided to turn my life around – loud and saying nothing of any relevance. The second lady – was a vision of what God had shielded me from in my active addiction.
One evening, I was at a friend’s house and folk were playing poker after the poker games were over I collected the “house” money (money for each game of poker played) which was mine to keep. I was ready to go and do that which I had become accustomed to doing – use drugs! My friend was very opposed to this idea, he was so angry that since his tone was not a deterrent to my desires – he thought he would reach in the nightstand and take out the gun and shoot at me. I suppose he thought that would deter me – no not really, I am a former Marine, if you can’t aim don’t shoot was my motto. That coupled with forces I was unfamiliar with at the time – I felt I had to go, in the works of Frears, S. (Director). (1988). Dangerous Liaisons [Film]. USA, “It is beyond my control” is what addiction feels like. At that point in my life nothing short of death was going to sway, hinder, deter or stop me from achieving my goal.
…meanwhile back on the bus, I thought to myself – God has just showed me how much He loves me even in the muck and mire. I was so very glad I had to opportunity to get on that bus to get a mirror image of me before and after if I had chosen to stay on that dangerous path a – Bus to No Where…
King James Bible
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
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.
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…
As I sat at the BusStop one hot sunny Friday afternoon, a gentlemen walked up to me and said, “Do you know Christ?”. I said of course I do, who doesn’t. I was annoyed at this young man who sat down next me uninvited and began to ask me questions that were particularly none of his business.
You see it was Friday, and I had a long week of rising early in the morning to drop my infant daughter off at the babysitter, walking four blocks to catch the Bus, which would take me down the hill the train station. There I waited for the train to Westport; I would get off the train and wait for the Bus to take to my place of employment. This trip would have taken me a whopping 35 minutes if was driving, however, using mass transportation it took me 2 hours.
On this day as I waited for the Bus on my return trip to take me home, when a young man decides this day he wanted to play questions and answers. As he talks about who Jesus is and tells me things, I already know – or I should say, I’ve heard, I get more annoyed as the time goes on. Finally, I thank him for the information I refuse to take the “track” that he seems determined to give me, and I walk away. I think to myself, I’m going to walk up the hill in all this heat – forget about the Bus, but I’m not going home.
What was I feeling that day, tired, annoyed, guilty, and most assuredly full of shame for my behavior and my current condition at that moment? I decided I was going to relieve my pain all by myself. This song reminds me of that day when a Christian tried to encourage me at a time when I lost whatever faith I had, nor I had fully understood how the enemy would pull you back into a situation you once claimed deliverance.
It would be several years later before I would get on Bus and begin to develop a relationship with God. What I do know is that my friend is in trouble, he knows the Bus exists but he has not met the Driver.
2 men were talking, and they had gotten into a conversation
And the backslider was complaining because everything had gone wrong
The Christian was trying to encourage him
And then the conversation went something like this
Cause sometimes no matter how strong you’ve been in the faith
Things will go wrong for you
I just wanna leave this with you tonight
This is what they were saying
Say you’ve been sick
Just folk having a conversation
The Christian said, tell me about it
A Season of Growth, A Season of Faith – Preparation invites us to take a good look at where we are and where God wants us to go.
This day was filled with revelations, learning, understanding, sharing and the delivery of words and ideas about how God works and what He wants from us and for us.
There are days when I’m so very sure I’m walking in the steps that were ordered for me, and then there is that one disappointment that I can and will allow to shake me. Does that mean that my faith is not as strong as it should be? Do I allow the friends of Job to whisper in my ear with suggestions of turning back? Have I not studied enough to know the difference between the voice of the Lord and that of something else? If I begin to answer those questions then I have indeed lost sight of what He wants for me?
I’ve learned that it’s in these moments when it seems like all hope is gone, my prayers have gone unanswered, and Satan is winning – if I throw in the towel, God will throw it back at me.
He’s not finished with me yet…
I am not to give up the good fight, it is when life goes awry by my eye’s vision that I must persevere and endure until I see His Face, face-to-face.
You find yourself in a place on your journey where it appears everything is falling down all around you. Relationships are breaking apart, you lost your job, the dog died, your husband or wife is cheating, the children appear to have lost their mental capacities. The hallway of decisions your options appear dim or non-existent and seems like you just can’t get a breakthrough. Then you hear the notification sound of a new email, or the chime of Facebook Messenger with that “hopeful” message directed at you either by a friend or a group – they usually go a little like this:
If you are not afraid to say you love Jesus, type Amen
The picture of thousands of dollars labeled your finances will be over tomorrow, if you type Amen
God will open a big door for whoever types Amen and Shares the post
Please don’t scroll without typing Amen
In the next 24 hours God will Bless you with Plenty of Money if you type Amen and forward to 10 people
Or the chain letter that reads –
“Do this and that will happen and if you don’t something else negative will happen.
Chain Letters, or Chain Mail, is a movement where a person sends a message to one person, while at the end of the message declaring that the reader must send the letter to however many participants to avoid a negative outcome or achieve a positive one. Upon receiving thousands of chain letters and having worked at increasing my relationship with God. Which also means understand the words in the Bible, the authors, and asking for guidance on the application and understanding of the message, I began to understand these “other messages” did not line up with scripture. I am 1000% sure that God’s blessings, mercy and grace are not based on how many times a chain letter, gif or meme is shared with instructions. Secondly 2 Peter 1:20 – 21 states: Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. One’s faith should be in God’s not in the “send, paste comment or share if like and believe” button(s). Galatians 3:26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. Number 4 seek the Kingdom first, not a chain letter for all your blessings – Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I saw a meme the other day it read, “Where in the bible does it say to type Amen?” I replied, “It does not – but I can show where it speaks to witchcraft, idolatry etc. Chain letters, and bullying memes ARE a form of witchcraft and sorcery. They can lead one to believe that if they type “Amen” a bank roll will appear in 3 days after they send it to 10 people. More importantly it takes the power away from God; He is the ultimate supplier of things we need, He said He will supply our needs. If need $325 to make my rent payment I need ONLY to trust Him, when or if I type “Amen” to the bank roll I am in essence saying a few things. (1) I have no faith; (2) I have not faith in God; (3) I don’t trust that God will supply all my needs; (4) I actually want more than I need; the list goes on.
“I, the LORD, am your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.
You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above
or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
Let’s look at the definition of the word Amen. It is a word used in the Bible to express a solemn approval and agreement with a statement. It is often used at the end of prayers. It is used a total of 59 times: 28 in the Old Testament and 31 times in the New Testament. At first glance one might think, hmm well I agree with the statement in meme or the chain letter so why not type Amen? Because! the Lord said I brought you out of the land of (slavery, bad marriages, physical abuse, drug addiction, emotional abuse, mental abuse, sleeplessness, unemployment, homelessness, denial, the fire, loneliness, pain and suffering, demanding job requirements, overbearing mother, lying, stealing, worrying, anger and depression, settling for less, insatiableness, adultery, self-pain, self-hate, cancer, alcoholism, fornication, poverty ( whatever is or was your Egypt ), which means that He is the only one with the power remove the evil, and provide salvation and deliverance in your life. If you follow the instructions on the chain letter or the meme you are giving those words power over your life, if you are not giving it to God, then you’re giving to Satan!
In Matthew 6: 23 – 25 we read:
…23But if your vision is poor, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? …
In Deuteronomy 18:9-14 we read:
“When you come into the land which the LORD your God gives you,
you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.
There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering,
anyone who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer,
or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD;
and because of these abominable practices the LORD your God is driving them out before you.
An unknown author of the Book of Isiah said “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
Well personally the enemy came like a flood and is trying to wash away my provisions. When I rose this morning, I had a talk with the Lord, even though He had already told me of things to come, (being human) I asked again instead of just giving thanks; ok you might say it was a lack of faith to ask again for help instead of giving thanks – I get that. Anywho I received an invite to watch Kenny Matthews this morning on Periscope. I usually don’t watch all invites but this morning while I was reading Psalms I decided to check it out.
His message was your gift will get you that which is for you; your character will help you maintain it. God is so amazing even if and when our faith falters – He has so much grace and mercy to dish out to all those that don’t deserve it, He saw need to sprinkle a little more on my path this morning.
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.
On 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.”
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.
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?
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…