A Happy New Year?

Welcome to 2013.  This year has ushered in more questions than answers for me as I think on the state of the African-American woman and her family.  I have knowledge of increasing amounts of friends and family who have or are currently contemplating divorce.  Many loved ones are turning away from the faith or faith practices that they once proclaimed in Christ and in some cases have gone back to the sin that had them “caught up”.  Those who have had marriages that I admired and were seemingly stable with years of bonding are now falling apart.  Even some Titus 2 women, whom  I considered to be strong & wise, as kind as they are, mature “mothers” (older than 55) are now out at the clubs. I am not judging by thinking of myself more higher than I ought but I am thinking … I am questioning… “why” and why NOW? Why are some of those “steadfast” “always there” no longer serving or going to church at all? Most importantly are they still walking/growing in Christ?  I am perplexed about these actions that may signify a change in their beliefs about God or is it something else? I personally want to go forward in my walk and not back.

My questions usually lead me to take a self inventory.  I can’t afford to have my nose in the air.  I have to ask questions (which I don’t necessarily want to ask or answer) and seek God’s word and not my opinion to evaluate my growth.

  • What am I doing now to improve my relationship with God? What are my failings and temptations? Who holds me accountable and tells me the truth when I blow it?
  • Do I have any commitment issues in any areas (may it be with my spouse, bible study, keeping promises or other commitments)?
  • Am I honest with myself and others (especially in a congregational setting)? What are my motives?

I want to be found faithful when I am called home to heaven. This is one of the most wonderful attributes of God that I appreciate. His faithfulness and gracious dealings with unfaithful children, as myself. I can encourage others to follow God and His word, but it appears that so many have a mind not to. Christ is the remedy to our sinful nature and is powerful to give salvation, hope and help for us to lead Holy lives.  I believe that. 

Happy New Year!  Have you started your evaluation?

Christ is the remedy. Let us pray for marriages and families.

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Posted in African American Woman, Christianity and the African American Family, Family, God's Glory, Husbands and Wives, My walk with Jesus, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What Is Your Story?

“Let every heart prepare Him room…and heaven and nature sing”

I wrote down an account of my salvation experience, for what reason I don’t recall it could have been for a class, evangelistic message. or I just wanted to get it on paper.  This is record of an experience that was great that no one can say did or does not exist and no one can take it away because I was there in my story experience.

As we make room for Jesus this season by evaluating ourselves, our walk with Him, and relationships with others.  I’d like for you to consider revisiting your initial salvation experience, write it down or share it with someone, no one can tell the story like you can.

Let me introduce myself…

I was born and grew up in St. Paul Minnesota. At the age of 5 my parents went through a divorce and I was an audience of one, though at the time I had a baby sister. My mom with all her strength and wisdom did the best she could to raise us. My grandparents played a great role in making sure we went to church (which was right across the street) but I always had a choice. I had limited rules to live by. I found it hard to make friends as I became a teen and felt lonely and odd. I was mad at my daddy, mad at my mommy, and didn’t like the life that I had. I was mad cause my clothes came from the thrift store and upset because I wasn’t able to go to the private schools some of the other girls went to at church.

I dealt with several issues about my image, my big eyes and skinny body for example and hoped to gain the attention of boys and men. In 9th grade ran with a crowd of girls way to “fast” for me. (Summer of 92 moved to TX as I believe set up by God) Some of those old friends got addicted to crack and angel dust I’ve heard… In high school continued to do as I pleased I had no curfew, I respected, and kicked it with “my man” whenever I chose. Although I had such freedom I still felt shallow, inadequate, and knew I was not living up to God’s standard by having sex outside of Holy matrimony. I went off to college to get away and continue to do my own thang. I was posing as a “good girl” and it was all a “front”.  All the while God was talking (rebuking and correcting) because He knew me and I knew Him.

At a choir banquet in February 1998 the speaker’s words convicted me told me to get out of bed with my boyfriend and give myself totally to God. God’s word revealed to me that he was not pleased with my worship of a man over Him. I joined a church in Denton, Texas and went through new membership orientation with Rev. James Kelly and God’s word. The Gospel spoke to me, it was like I had never heard it before. I had been to church most of my life I knew “Jesus Loves me” but never got it, I guess.

I learned: Rom 3:23, “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” Sin separates us from God. Romans 5:8, “While we were yet sinners Chris died for us”. I was mesmerized by the well-known, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, Jesus.” Romans 10:9, “If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart God raised him from the dead you will be saved.”  I really did it this time, I understood, with God’s help through His Spirit.  I was baptized again not because I had to be…but now understood the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Since I have given my life to Christ I have not become perfect but I am in relationship with God, who is…Perfect. I have a restored relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. I still struggle with some anger issues and just recently begun to deal with issues with unforgiveness towards many family members. God is taking me through a process. I have joy knowing that I am on this journey with Him and know without a doubt that if I would die today I would go to live eternally with the Almighty God. Not because I have been so good, not because I go to church on Sundays, or have been so faithful. It’s is all about HIS grace and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. My life is blessed I have a husband who seeks after the Lord and two beautiful and “interesting” children. I am maturing and growing, learning new things daily. I hope for a closer relationship with my father and salvation for my kinsfolk.

I know hard times are still ahead but I choose to stand on the True Rock Jesus.

Where are you standing?

What’s your story? Include your 1)Life before Christ, 2) How you met Him, and 3) Your Life with Him now.

Posted in Devotion, My walk with Jesus, Sexual Sin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Deeper Issue

I decided not to send the following letter to the editor.  I still don’t know if I want to.  In light of the death of Jordan Davis I feel AND KNOW that there is a deeper issue, problem, and toxin that is not being checked. All of what we are seeing is more at the surface level or the over flow of the heart and thoughts.  I KNOW what it is. SIN…you won’t see this topic in the headlines today.

REPENT TODAY FRIENDS!

Pray for the City of Jacksonville FL and that the true facts surrounding Jordan Davis and his death will be revealed and handled justly.

~My Facebook Post November 29, 2012

Dear Editor:

My dear husband of 14 years recently received a new job and an opportunity to advance his career with a local corporation.

In the area where we have moved, we have found the most polite and welcoming neighbors. My children experience passing a pasture full of cows on the way to school every morning, which I am told is not uncommon for the area. The checker at the local supermarket always makes it a point to draw happy faces on my check out receipt at the counter. As one neighbor put it, “The people here care and are genuine.” For the most part, I can say I have experienced this.

Prior to my arrival to the Jacksonville area, there were a barrage of negative perceptions and responses that I had to face— from friends, family, strangers, and even myself.  I’d hear questions like, “You are moving where?.. For what?; Isn’t there a lot of crime (relative to) …blacks there?” Jacksonville, Florida’s largest city has a lot of work to do when it comes to its reputation, for sure.

Unfortunately my family has experienced the perceived ways of racial discourse embedded in the history of the “Deep South.” My husband, for over the past 4-5 months has observed, complained, and vented about how he is treated in this area.  The startled looks he received when he walks into stores, restaurants, banks, and sometimes even at work, where he was hired, leaves him baffled to why he may be avoided. He often goes into department store and is neither greeted nor asked if he needs assistance.  He has also stated that he is “invisible” or not welcomed by others unless his family is with him. In the sense that he now feels visible he is now greeted and persons are not attempting to avoid him.  He becomes a “visible” family man now seen with a new lens of role and responsibility.

The constant news stories and area crimes that involve African American male perpetrators in no doubt may develop and confirm stereotypes or generalizations.  Without blame, if I never associated with people outside of my race but only saw them on TV in negative and criminal images. I too would be apprehensive about how to associate with them or have no desire to associate with them at all.

My husband shared with me how he overheard a little girl no more than 5 years old, to her mother’s shock, dismay, and embarrassment call him a “nigger.”  The mother apologized for her daughter’s behavior, but, what is she learning at home?  While I realize that we are in the “Deep South” it has caused me to become more sensitive to the issue of race here and as it relates to our children.

A clerk at a local cable company store front who did not treat my husband appropriately The clerk was described as agitated, unfriendly and “short” with words.  He was observed to give many customers a bag upon leaving the store, but refused to provide one for him.  A bag doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but even a co-worker of the clerk brought to his attention that the customer needed a bag, he did not comply.  He did not know the black male in camouflage pants, tennis shoes and a black t-shirt went to school 9 years and studied coursework in a field where many drop out because that can’t handle the complex computer codes and statistics courses that go along with the program.  Then this black male began work on his MBA to better his career advancement opportunities for himself and his family working tirelessly into the late hours of the night, while trying to make sure he was responsible in all his duties as husband, father, employee and student. But knowing all of this wasn’t necessary for the gentleman to show good customer service nor with the knowledge of background does it command respect …from anyone.

Prior to the election, I learned that a local news agency had to take down a page from their website which spoke of First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to Jacksonville due to inappropriate comment made about her on the page.I didn’t get to see any of the posted comments but apparently they were so highly flammable, insensitive, and crude that they had to be removed. Was this based on race? I don’t know, but based on my observations and experiences in my America and in my “Generation Next” opinion, probably so. How unpatriotic can one be? Disrespecting the spouse of the 44th President of these great United States of America is contemptuous.

I wish my husband or any other hard working, respectable, tax paying, up-standing law abiding, American citizen would not have to deal with the many offenses that come their way due to sex and race, but they do and they will.

A CALL TO ACTION

What shall we do?  I think when a perceived offense has occurred it should be addressed, especially when children are around.  Politely impose “teachable moments” on those who you have felt have offended you or treated you unfairly.  I would also suggest to news media in this area find positive news and stories because there will always, unfortunately, be negative news to tell.  Newspapers, online articles, and community publications can include and highlight the achievements of people of color and those who work in the area to improve race relations. I propose community service programs that support children, activities that help people from various walks of life to come together. From that I hope that education and a dialogue on race can be fostered so that the city can come together, move forward and address the education of our greatest legacy– our children.  Our children deserve to grow up in an America where they are safe, have access to quality education, and the opportunity to become respectful adults.

Genuinely,

A Concerned American

Posted in African AMerican Males, Children, Christianity and the African American Family, Labels, stereotypes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sounding Off on Anger…African American MEN

Greetings, I gather intelligence on a daily basis from several sources.  I have an overwhelming sensitivity to the emotion of ANGER that is seeping through the undercurrents and the undertones in our America.  People are angry.  They are angry about the economy, the election, their lives their, perceived treatment of by others. You name it, someone is probably angry about it. I am no Dr. Phil and I do not feel motivated nor called to enroll in any type of behavioral health courses, so I searched the word “Anger” in Wikipedia this morning which states:

Anger is an emotion related to one’s psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged or denied and a tendency to react through retaliation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anger

Read the rest for yourself it is pretty interesting and you may find yourself there…I did.  I, like you, have been offended, and will be again in the future. I would say at least a couple times a week I am offended by something  or someone.  I have chosen to blog about today although, I was not the offended in this scenario.  I don’t like telling other peoples stories, but I will this time because I am angry.

On a “honey-do” mission for me, my husband goes to return a used cable box that was musty and had a rancid smell.  We received this box upon moving into a new home, did I mention it was used and musty?  Let me also mention we did not have nor request a special low cost low service plan in order to pay for basic cable services from this company we pay the standard rates like everyone else…lest I digress in my anger let me continue and get to the point!

He returned the box and made several observations based on his treatment. My husband informed me that the clerk was short with him, very impatient, and agitated at his request to exchange the box.  He was subject to a long line of questioning and at the end was not offered a pretty new bag like all the other customers had received after receiving their products and leaving the store.

GUESS WHAT? HE BECAME ANGRY!! (CAPS)  Justifiably, when you observe differential treatment or lack of courtesy in any scenario you may be offended.  Upon moving to North Florida this is not the only incident.  Our family has met plenty of friendly and welcoming Floridians but we have also observed the apparent racially charged undertones and overtones in the area.  I wish I was only writing about the woman who works at the local Publix store in our rural neighborhood who draws happy faces (that depict each family member) on our receipt upon check out and the numerous retired seniors who always make themselves available for us or even help with the kids, they could easily have 10 different sets of grandparents here! Instead have to sound off here..angry.

My observation is that Jacksonville has a serious issue with black males.  What do I mean by that? People are scared of and distrustful of them. Why? They are always in the news.  Why? They are usually reported as the suspects of armed robbery, assault, or murder with a deadly weapon.  I’m afraid too, based on all the news reports.  I’m not “frontin” (faking, pretending) and can imagine if I did not have any associations with black males I would be scared out of my mind and not sure how to associate with them also.

My husband, for over the past 4-5 months has observed , complained, and vented about how he is treated in this area.  The startled looks he received when he walks into stores, restaurants, banks, and sometime even at work, where he was hired…to do a job… OMG, work that’s why we moved here. He even overheard a little girl to her mother’s shock, dismay, embarrassment and shame call him a “nigger”, no I’d rather not get into it lets keep going, the mom even apologized I hear. While I realize that we are in the “Deep South” it has caused us to become more sensitive to the issue of race here and as it relates to our children.  I have noticed that I become angered more frequently due to his observations.

A CALL TO ACTION

Looking at the definition provided and just trying to sort and guide my emotions into a positive work, I felt it would be great to begin a call for discussion and education.  I do plan on writing the local newspaper about this issue and feel that the best way to make change is through education, the in application in action and thought.  I also will have suggestions on how the media can encourage positive news stories with black men.

No, the clerk at the cable company store front did not know the black male in camouflage pants, tennis shoes and a black t shirt went to school 9 years and studied coursework in a field where many drop off  because that can’t handle the complex codes and higher level math (statistics) courses that go along with the program.  Then this black male began work on his MBA to better his career advancement opportunities for himself and his family working tirelessly into the late hours of the night while trying to make sure he was responsible in all his duties as husband, father, employee and student.

It shouldn’t matter whether he was wearing a suit or jersey.  In this case quality customer service and courtesy would have sufficed.  I wish my husband or any other hard working and respectable, tax paying, up-standing law abiding, American citizen who is a black man or any person of color would not have to deal with the many offenses that come their way due to sex and race, but they do and they will. My son at  6 years old has and he will be offended in the future, sadly and frankly due to his race and sex.  What shall we do?  I think when there a perceived offense has occurred it should be addressed, especially when children around.  Politely impose “teachable moments” on those who you have felt have offended you.

Posted in African AMerican Males, Labels, stereotypes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Children Created for Purpose

Children are created for a purpose.  Children are a gift of God.
It often blows my mind how my worldview is foreign to others, that’s okay, I am a critical thinker who believes not everyone should feel the same way about every thing.

With that being said……

I have been thinking allot about children and ….here it goes I am about to lose the two of you who actually read my posts, that’s cool.

This week was the Pro-Life Day of Solidarity http://www.silentday.org/ October 16th 2012, I missed it. The day was use to commemorate a day of silence for unborn children who have been aborted or will be soon. I would have has my red duct tape on my arm, if I had it.
Today the children and I have a devotion about Samson (Judges 3)**.  This was an extension of our Wednesday night Bible study.  Before Sampson came on the scene as a future judge for the Israelites and how an angel of the Lord appeared to his barren mama about God’s plan for her unborn and please note, not yet conceived, child.  God had sent a manual to the mother first (hello), chapter 1 section 1, then to the parents on how to raise the child up, he was to be a Nazarite from birth which implicated strict (come out of your negative American response to the word-look it up) -regulations for diet, grooming and lifestyle. My son vehemently objected to the fact that he would not be able to eat grapes because “but grapes are healthy mama!”.  I affirmed his emphatic understanding that grapes are healthy and yes this is true but God gave the rule, the command, and the standard.  Just because we disagree doesn’t mean that we can change God’s rules.  I told him that there is nothing bad about the grapes but GOD SAID no grapes for all of Samson’s life.  Hard to swallow huh?   I emphasized to them the fact that they are special and that God has birthed them into this world for a special purpose just like Samson.  I told them an angel did not visit me but I do know that they are to live for God’s glory and make disciples by sharing the good news of Christ the Super Saver of the World who died and rose again.

**Special Note: For those who don’t know how Samson turned out (Read Judges 13-16) oooooh-wheee! …I didn’t say the dude was perfect but he was a mess! It will be a great study for parents and children.

During my pregnancy I received the book on pregnancy, “What to Expect When You Are Expecting”, but by no means did I honestly and intentionally think once about God’s plan and purpose for baby. I was more concerned with the pain, payments,and pampers. As I look back it would have been beneficial for me to begin reading the Bible and familiarizing myself more with the documented stories on how messengers were sent to tell mothers like Sarah, Hannah, Mary, and Sampson’s mama that hey you have someone special that it is about to be birthed out of you and for God’s Glory.

I’m pro-choice and pro-life. Woman if you choose with to lay with a man be ready to get up with the consequences.  I don’t want to help pay for your Plan B  or abortions due to poor choice behavior. Make the choice before not after if you don’t want to have them.  If you don’t want kids don’t participate in the practice of making them. I am all for an unmarried woman’s right not to have sex.

I am so very concerned about the crimes committed against our smallest Americans. With violence seen daily in the news involving crimes of sexual and physical abuse against children such as the Sandusky wickedness, pedophiles in churches, and now more recently the Boy Scouts of America admittance to neglectful workers covering up abuse of boys within the organization past… innocence is a fleeting characteristic when it comes to children.  Children need to be protected!

What can I do? What can you do?

Speak up for children call parents, teachers, and adults “out” on their mistakes, misguided actions or words.  Monitor children, nurture them, and listen to them. Give them a chance at life…the world….it is jacked up!, but they may have the IDEA, INVENTION, or CURE!

Don’t count them out as a burden, an obstacle, or a nuisance.  Don’t buy these lies.

Children are a gift from God.

Posted in Abortion, African American Woman, Bible Study, Children, Christianity and the African American Family, Devotion, Discussions with children, God's Creation, God's Glory, My walk with Jesus, Sex, Sexual Sin, Violence Against Children | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

My …”I”

I am female, I am black, I am young, I am contently married, I am Christian……I am American….gasp…oh yeah I am a mom.

My perspective, to some may be perceived as “outdated” or old-fashioned, conservative, liberal, traditional, contentious, race-card bating, intolerant, ignorant whinny,”white”, angry (add the black woman), discontent, and selfish.

I don’t speak much I really prefer not to.  I feel words should be intentional, honest, powerful, relevant and received.

I HONESTLY feel no one really cares what I have to say …for real.

I’m not “her” I don’t have the same thoughts as family and friends.  I have my own voice.  I am not the Democratic party or the other one…. Lord help us all!  Yes “I CAN” keep my legs closed.  I am responsible.  I KNOW all actions have consequences.

I feel frustrated….I just saw on the news that we have a war room on fungal meningitis in Atlanta…IT’S BAD PEOPLE ARE DYING…don’t get me wrong it’s a bad thing… but can we get a war room on STD’S or unhealthy behavior,or poor decision making,or environmental poverty?  Then get out of “the room” and save these young baby girls and boys 10 and 11 years on earth who are having dishonorable, unprotected, inappropriate, and  risky suicidal…. sex.  There is a downright outbreak…. a transfer of diseases from person to person; genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/AIDS, etc.

…. if I had a cape and could save the world! WAIT A MINUTE!! I won’t go there….. this is what “I CAN” do.  I’ll be faithful to my husband.  I’ll raise my children and teach them about sex (I look forward to it) and I‘ll mentor.  I can’t save the world.

Do what you can.

I do care.  If you won’t listen I know you’ll watch. I’ll keep on writing. I have “hope” not in the candidates, not in men, nor even the “good-hearted” in society.

My hope is in my faith in Jesus. My mothers and fathers who came before me highly advised me to place my hope in Him alone! The words in the Bible book are living, active, more powerful than a two-edged sword, and  they judge the heart and thoughts of those who read it.

All my words may not be divinely inspired at this point I just hope they help others to think.

I think (and I think all the time) I’ll keep writing. It starts here, finally…focus!

Posted in African American Woman, Christianity and the African American Family, Labels, My walk with Jesus, Sex, STD's, stereotypes | Leave a comment

If you liked the “At The Dinner Table Talk” you will LOVE “At The Breakfast Table”

So this is how it went down…

We have been searching for a new home after being relocated to another state.  Our children have fully experienced the home selling process.  The showings, talk of offers, buyers earnest money, and agents to my surprise they have been listening all this time!

Well this morning at the breakfast table the 11 year old asks about shortsales, “Mom, What is a shortsale?”, I answer it’s when when the bank allows you to sell the home at a price which is less than the amount that you owe(mortgage).  I told her the difference may be forgiven by the bank,or as I put it (they may let it slide) which means that you can avoid foreclosure but your credit may get, as I called it, “jacked up”. The 6 year old then asked, “What is a foreclosure?”….it begins to get deep here.   I attempted to break this down to a first grade level by explaining,  “Son if the people can’t make payment on the house maybe due to job loss, illness, or maybe just not making enough money to pay the bill they could get kicked out of their homes and their house it taken away and sometime their things get set on the curb.” I gave it to him quick and dirty which resulted in, to my surprise, TEARS! I couldn’t believe it this dude was crying!!!! Big ole’ Florida crocodile tears! While a very serious subject, my first inclination was to bust out laughing….but no… I didn’t. I held it in and the 11 yr old didn’t help, as she used her natural ability and “Mean Girls Spirit” to mock him behind his back.  This dude was sincere, crying because “the people get kicked out of their house and they don’t have a place to live”, at that I had to check myself and comfort him, not to mention the fact that it wasn’t even 7:00 am yet!

I told him that there is a possibility for them to find other places to live, maybe even an apartment and overtime they can buy a new home hopefully.  His tears slowed I felt better but then I was like… man this guy cares more than I do right now.  I was, however, proud of him; the way he showed concerned. I even thought for a second that I could pat my husband and myself on the back for raising a super boy child who is compassionate and can empathize with the plight of others.  However that thought was quickly nixed when I recalled the scripture that said the Kingdom of God is such as these….these being and meaning children. Clarke’s commentary states:,

A great part of God’s kingdom is composed of such literally; and those only who resemble little children shall be received into it: see on Matthew 18:3* Christ loves little children because he loves simplicity and innocence; he has sanctified their very age by passing through it himself – the holy Jesus was once a little child.

I realize there are those who respect Jesus to be a man and great figure and wise historical teacher of the past. I could acknowledge and counter Bible/Jesus skeptics who question the virgin birth and resurrection from the dead, both outer worldly instances, which are the crux of my belief system – the one we have chose to raise our children in. I don’t have to instead I will praise God for Jesus’s truth that children in their innocence and purity can show humility- unintentionally.  My son could empathize with the foreclosure scenario not because I taught it to him, he fully understood mortgage loans and obligations, or he totally does not have selfish desires, but because his heart can feel.  It’s not complicated … adults can make it that way.  The Bible teaches that “hardened heart” is often self centered, full of pride and ignores God. I could go into a long monologue here about the heart like guarding it , cleansing it, who/what to give it to… but no time today.  I’ll just sum it up like this thanks for the lesson today little guy:)!

*Matthew 18:3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Posted in Bible Study, Children, compassion, Discussions with children, Family, God's Creation, God's Glory, My walk with Jesus, Uncategorized | Leave a comment