#TheBus – Has Rules

Bus Rules

  1. Put on your seat-belt – sometimes there are will be major turbulence especially when traveling in the dark;
  2. Obey the Bus Driver – not obeying the Bus Driver can cause major turbulence and cause you to get thrown to and fro.
  3. Watch out for black ice – black ice is dangerous for the Bus because you don’t always see it immediately.  You may see a warning sign and sometimes you won’t, but you will know when you come across it the Bus can begin to slip and slide uncontrollably.  With that said it is imperative that you trust the Bus Driver! 

Here’s something I did not know could happen, sometimes it appears that Bus Driver has left the Bus while it’s sitting still or it appears he is not driving the Bus, this can be very uncomfortable for you as it was for me, however, you must learn to trust that the Driver is still there.

Visitors please be mindful of the other bus riders as they are directed to get on and exit the Bus.  The Bus Driver may ask you a question about one of your experiences while riding the Bus with me so don’t be alarmed.  I don’t know who this Bus ride is for, but I know that the bus is full of all sorts of folk, loving, envious, adulterers, greedy, unloving, angry, happy, hurt, healed, jealous, abused grateful and ungrateful people.  You will find rapists and murderers on this Bus as well as destroyers and helpers.

At various stops along the way, you will find stories of pain, healing, grace, and rejection.  Finally, please note your Fare has already been paid for this ride.  

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I Saw Myself From A Different Prospective #Bus

The first time I watched a woman and her two children get on the train at 6:00 am I thought to myself – It’s quite early to have an infant and little girl out on the train. 

I saw her again and again and thought to myself – Wow she does this every day surely there was someone who would give her a ride.

One day I saw her with her children and notice how the conductor was quite annoyed that she didn’t have her ticket ready…

The other day I saw her and she was combing her daughter’s hair on the train (she wasn’t quite ready for that early trip).  I watched her comb the hair and feed her baby in the carriage while riding the train.

One time I watched the other passengers get on the train and stare at her until they passed by –  as if she had leprosy and should have been banned from the train.

I thought to myself – wow I remember getting on the train about 27 years ago when my daughter was an infant and I did not do as well as the woman I watched… It was in that moment that I had great respect for her courage and strength.

Grace and Mercy

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.

 

When the Veil Dosen’t Work

Trip Down South

One day my mother had an idea, she wanted to drive us to Newport News, VA by herself without my father.  We had never taken a trip that far without him, sure we had crossed the border to New York (Port Chester and White Plains) a thousand times but never multiple states away.  We were very excited but not sure she/we could do it, so I kept track of the exit signs and miles to the next state and I think my brother was simply a bratty passenger.  There was very different about this more than just my dad was not driving; and I don’t know and still don’t know what prompted her to make such a decision.   We arrived safe and sound (where did that phrase come from?) my grandparents were so happy to see us, and I was eager to go and hang out with my cousins as I always did.  I had the 15-year-old itch (wanting to be older but unable to do anything about it too young for 16-year-old things like driving and to old for hanging out with 7-year-old bratty brothers) – hanging with my older cousins seemed like a great alternative considering I had no other siblings or cousins my age, so the idea of going to out with my cousins sounded like a fabulous idea.

Cutie and Baby Blue Camaro

Any who, one evening I was out with my cousins and we went to the local bar.  The excitement of being in the bar and pretending to be all grown up was overwhelmingly sweet and sufficient.  I was not sure what to do so I acted as they did (the beginning of my precise chameleon abilities).  After the bar-scene ended we were in the parking lot  making plans to do other things.   There he was that cute guy that was trying to buy me a drink in the bar had started a conversation with me and I found myself engaged and feeling a lot like Jan (from the Brady Bunch) all grown up but not really.  Besides being cute/handsome he had a baby blue Camaro just like the one I dreamed I would have when I “grew up”.  There was a young lady in our neighborhood that was a few years older she had a good job and a baby blue Camaro.  My best friend and I vowed we would get a car just like hers when we grew up and even work with the same organization.  Meanwhile back at the bar, my cousins have decided to go to house party can and that cute guy after hearing my story asked me if I wanted to drive! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  Can you imagine the excitement I felt at 15 years of age (with a learner’s permit) driving my dream car, hanging out with my family, meeting this guy and going to another party after I have just left a bar!!! This scenario would never have happened back at home and I was locked and loaded.

Horror!!!

We’re off and driving down a very long street and somewhere along the way I get separated from the train of cars that were traveling to the party.  Me and “Cutie” arrive at an apartment complex, I look around but I don’t see any familiar cars, family members and I don’t hear any music – considering we going to another party it was Summer and very quiet after 2 am.  We walk into a house and there’s some random guy watching television in the dark.  “Cutie” walks me upstairs and wants to make out – remember those days.  However, the making out begins to go way beyond what I’ve had become accustomed to so I begin to say stop! no! don’t! I’m fighting with is his hands and trying to move away,  in a minute, I can’t control his movements – he’s not listening and there, right there, the most unbelievable thing happens…

I can hear all my mother words warning me about playing around with little boys.  How I needed to act like a lady, get treated with respect, don’t run around kissing guys and sitting on toilets because that would lead to pregnancy!  A young man should want to take you out on Saturday and Sunday if no-show on Sunday – it’s a problem – the RULES…My honor, the definition of who I was, my dreams and hopes in a flash had been snatched from me by some random cute guy I met at the bar driving a baby blue Camaro!  Damn what do I do, I don’t know where I am, I don’t know how to get back to grandma’s house, I don’t know where my family is, cell phones were only for the extremely rich and famous!!!

The Veil The Veil

When he realizes what I was, yes, I was an untouched flower that he had just destroyed!  He goes into his glove compartment and shows me his car registration and then he goes into the trunk and takes out a crow bar – I’m thinking oh Lord is going to kill me right here in the parking lot – hell it’s dawn for Christ’s sake – who does that (my naïve ignorance) he gives me permission to destroy the baby blue… and/or him with the crowbar.  I hold the crow bar and I’ll be damn, I can’t make a decision which would hurt him more breaking the windows or slashing him upside his head… so out of my hands it drops, and I softly say please take me home.

I had a dream, no I had a vision that I would marry my high school sweetheart, we would have 2 children, a washer and dryer,  I knew where we would live and that he would take over his father’s business – we would live happily ever after just like #Cinderella.  I had a desire to be a real-life Cinderella yet I had picked out my Knight in Shining Armor.  One night with “Cutie” from the bar with baby blue Camaro shot that dream all to hell.  You see my #Virgin status had been revoked –

 

Do come back later to find out I tried to restore my #Virgin status and adjust my #Veil…

 

 

 

Why Am I On The Bus

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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….

 

Virtuous What It Isn’t

 

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It reads her price is far above rubies that does not mean she’s not selling IT, and IT’S not for sale…

Her worth, a woman’s worth, your worth should mean so much to you that you wouldn’t let anyone de-value you.

You are worth more than a movie and dinner, or a Good Morning text on FB messenger, a once a month rendezvous, or the “privilege” of calling him your baby daddy on Facebook, or waiting for him to get a divorce, or believing God sent him because he’s fine, he goes to church and he asked can he call you sometime, or because the ring is enormous but rarely is he with you when you wear it.

Are you virtuous, do you want to be virtuous, for those of you that are virtuous, that’s great for those of you that said, “It depends on how expensive the dinner was.” well that’s not so virtuous, that’s more “Lamp Post-ish.” Don’t sell yourself for a $250 dollar dinner, or a key to his house, or a 6 inch sandwich from #Subway. For those of you that accepted the 1:35 am call or the 6 inch sub, but the bat (The bat is when we say things like, “Dang I wish I had not slept with him, and we say it all the time and we repeat all the negative consequences and we tell our friends and we tell the next guy and the next and the next and we feel bad about it all the time.) back in the closet.  We ALL have fallen short at least a few thousand times in our lives in all areas of our life.

So I’m on the Bus (in my younger days) traveling around just window shopping and I see something glittery from afar off.  As it moves towards me the shine increases, the sound coming from it is almost sensual and pleasurable.  I’ve seen this glow hundreds of times everywhere in my neighborhood from the window of my Bus, but every now and again there’s one of these things that just makes my eyes and thoughts go everywhere.  I think about who owns it, what does the owner look like, how much did that shine cost, would I like the shine, can I get the shine, and oh yes – what drama will come with that shine is NEVER addressed.  You see I wasn’t taught what NOT to do I was taught what TO do when it came to dating. When that car rolled up with those shiny rims, back in the late eighties, it meant someone driving had “cash flow” – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Your shortcomings are no worse than mine and mine are no greater than yours in the grand scheme of things.  My understanding is that stealing a balloon is the same sin as murder!

#doyoureadyourbibles

Don’t give it away it was ALREADY bought and paid for by a man who loved you enough to get whooped/beaten/spit on/slashed/and hung to the bone….

Does your man do any of this for you today, ask yourself what are you worth to YOU then you will find the answer of what you’re worth to him.

Don’t be so hard on yourself if you find your worth is not as worthy as you once thought, rise to the occasion today and declare from this day forward, “I______________ will come to understand and value my worth.”

MsConcerned

 

 

Dreams

Write God Will Ignite_001

 

  Genesis 41:12

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

 

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

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

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

Genesis 41:12

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

I Went to the Garden Alone

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Peace and Blessing

 


References

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